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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
id say the black widow is able to let the ERLL of her mech hit the neck of a mech in a way that decapitates the mech, insta-killing the mech, without much harming the pilot. at maximum range.
by simply hitting the exact same point with both lasers simultaniously.
she could also write "dezgra freebirth" on the frontal armor of her oponent if she had the time and it was no trial of position.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:49 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Here are the Clan Garrisons for Chainelaine, since we are rapidly approaching that part of the story.

Clan Garrison Forces (Chainelaine Isles)

Chaine Cluster (7) (Steel Viper)
5th Viper Regulars (Veteran)* (also responsible for garrisoning Blackstone, Last Chance, and Palcida)
Viper PGCs: 3 (also reponsible for garrisoning Blackstone, Last Chance, and Palcida)

Far Reach (Ice Hellion)
52nd Hector Cavaliers (Regular)*
Hellion PGCs: 2

Fredotto (Blood Spirit/Fire Mandrill/Nova Cat)
Spirit 441st Crimson Guards (Veteran)*
Spirit PGCs: 2

Mandrill 12th Support Cluster (The Keystone Cluster) (Regular)*
Mandrill PGCs: 5 (also responsible for garrisoning Elissa, Ferris, and Nyserta)

Cat 4th Nova Cat Regulars (Veteran)*
Cat PGCs: 2

Haublan (Diamond Shark)
Shark Delta Galaxy (Snapping Jaws)
Shark 8th Assault Cluster (Rogue Hunter) (Elite)
Shark 28th Cruiser Cluster (Strum Wache) (Regular)
Shark 21st Strike Cluster (The Merfolk) (Veteran)
Shark PGCs: 4

Aegis-class Cruiser (Blood Lust)

Idrmach (Smoke Jaguar)
Jaguar 17th Jaguar Regulars (The Ghost and the Darkness) (Veteran)*
Jaguar PGCs: 4 (also responsible for garrisoning Manaringaine, Porthos, and Santander V)

Ingvolstand (Coyote/Wolf)
Coyote 403rd Battle Cluster (The Legionnaires) (Veteran)*
Coyote 246th Strike Cluster (The Coyote Irregulars) (Veteran)*
Coyote PGCs: 3

Wolf The Steel Keshik (Veteran)*
Wolf 8th Wolf Regulars (Stalking Death) (Veteran)*
Wolf 15th Wolf Regulars (The Inquisitors) (Veteran)*
Wolf PGCs: 7 (also responsible for garrisoning Butte Hold, Oberon VI, and Sigurd)

Paran (Hell’s Horses/Snow Raven)
Horses 61st BattleMech Cluster (Fire and Brimstone) (Veteran)*
Horses 51st Mechanized Cavalry (The Nightrider Cluster) (Veteran)*
Horses PGCs: 4 (also responsible for garrisoning Erewhon, Gotterdamarung, and Lackhove)

Raven 97th Raven Striker Cluster (The Soaring Ravens) (Veteran)
Raven 4th Raven Regulars (Veteran)*
Raven 6th Raven Regulars (Veteran)*
Raven PGCs: 5

Swift Wing Naval Star
McKenna-class BB (James McKenna); Conqueror-class BC (Ark Royal); Congress-class FF (Magpie); Lola III-class DD (Bloody Talon); Whirlwind-class DD (Drake)

Rondane (Ghost Bear/Goliath Scorpion)
Scorpion Delta Galaxy (Swift Strikers)
Scorpion 20th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Scorpion Ascendant) (Veteran)
Scorpion 26th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Dark Sting) (Veteran)
Scorpion 7th Scorpion Dragoons (The Din of Battle) (Veteran)
Scorpion 22nd Scorpion Hussars (Eye of the Storm) (Veteran)

Scorpion Epsilon Galaxy (Nightcrawlers) (en route)
Scorpion 18th Scorpion Cuirassiers (The Khan's Castle) (Veteran) (en route)
Scorpion 28th Scorpion Cuirassiers (Death Stalkers) (Veteran) (en route)
Scorpion 10th Scorpion Dragoons (Poisoned Gambit) (Veteran) (en route)
Scorpion 19th Scorpion Hussars (Untamed Will) (Veteran) (en route)

Scorpion PGCs: 4

Striking Claw Naval Star
McKenna-class BB (Requiem); Aegis-class CA (Corona Borealis); Congress-class FF (Garlon); Lola III-class (Sagitta)

Bear Omega Galaxy (The Raging Bears)
Bear Tseng's Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary)
Bear 357th Assault Cluster (The Cave Bears) (Veteran))
Bear 10th Bear Cuirassier (Tundra Roughriders) (Veteran)
Bear 115th Striker cluster (The Rolling Wave) (Elite)
Bear 139th Striker Cluster (The Sphere Hunters) (Veteran)

Bear Zeta Galaxy (The Claws of the Ghost) (en route)
Bear The Claw Keshik (Veteran) (1 Trinary) (en route)
Bear 20th Battle Cluster (Polar Bears) (Elite) (en route)
Bear 300th Battle Cluster (Roaring Phoenix) (Veteran) (en route)
Bear 1st Bear Regulars (Tip of the Spear) (Veteran) (en route)
Bear 2nd Bear Regulars (Ivory Claws) (Veteran) (en route)

Bear PGCs: 4

Note: The Scorpions and the Bears evacuated the populations of Crellacor, Gustrell, and Star's End and do not maintain a permanent garrison

Syrstart (Cloud Cobra/Star Adder)
Cobra 116th Dragoon Cluster (Last Stand) (Veteran)
Cobra PGCs: 2

Adder 97th Adder Sentinels (Veteran)*
Adder 235th Adder Sentinels (Elite)*
Adder 522nd Adder Sentinels (Elite)*
Adder PGCs: 6 (also responsible for garrisoning Drask's Den, Paulus Prime, and The Rock)

Vannes (Jade Falcon)
Falcon Zeta Galaxy
3rd Battle Cluster (The Falcon's Honor) (Elite)
53rd Battle Cluster (The Cat Snatchers) (Veteran)
2nd Falcon Dragoons (The Lightnings) (Veteran)
5th Falcon Regulars (Eden's Hope) (Veteran)
3rd Falcon Velites (The Swift Wings) (Veteran)
Falcon PGCs: 4 (also responsible for garrisoning Botany Bay and von Strang's World)

Emerald Talon Naval Star
Nightlord-class BB (Emerald Talon); Liberator-class Cruiser (Gauntlet); Aegis-class Cruiser (Jade Talon); Vincent-class Corvette (Lightning Strike)


Last edited by master arminas on Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:13 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Eisenhugel Preserve
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 19, 3043


Warrior Janos kept his eyes squarely on his sensory equipment as he slowly walked his Pouncer OmniMech through the rugged countryside. That antiquated traitor had ‘negotiated’ with the ilKhan to make this Trial more ‘realistic’ and less an arena competition . . . in her words. And the ilKhan had agreed. She had designated this 50 kilometer by 50 kilometer section of thick forests and rugged hills and narrow waterways as the Trial Grounds . . . and Natasha Kerensky was playing for keeps.

The former Wolf and former Dragoon was somewhere in the dense forests—and the native iron ores contained within the ridgelines and hillocks was playing havoc with Janos’ sensor systems. He broke into a clearing and snarled as he still could not register her OmniMech on his radar, his magnetic anomaly detector (which was going haywire from all of the false contact reports generated by the ore), or the seismic sensors. He did take a moment to appreciate the rainbow formed by the waterfall that plunged fifteen meters from the bluff above into a wide, shallow pool, before the tributary it spawned split off to flow downslope towards the distant sea.

A sensor scan revealed nothing and turned away to make yet another pass through the foliage. And at that moment, alarms began to scream in his cockpit—and Janos blanched.

A 75-ton Timber Wolf emerged from the cavern hidden behind the waterfall, and the war-machine was facing him square towards his exposed back. Janos stood on his jump jet pedals, but he was too late as one golden beam and then a second burnt through his weak rear armor and caution alerts began to beep and hoot and flash in the cockpit—and then forty louvered panels covering the missile cells on the Timber Wolf’s twin launchers flashed open and thirty-six guided rockets slammed into the holes punched through his woefully inadequate rear armor.

His systems died as the engine went into emergency shutdown, and Janos gritted his teeth as the unstable Pouncer—with no power, no hydraulics, and no longer any stabilizing gyroscope—twisted and teetered and fell to the ground with an impact that left his molars aching. And then that flat-black painted Timber Wolf with the crimson hour-glass symbol of Clan Widowmaker on its nose passed him by.

*****************************************************************

The Ice Ferret sped through the thick woods towards the last reported location of the Pouncer . . . Warrior Helena at the controls. She weaved expertly through the trees and then she broke past the undergrowth and the old growth timber and detected her opponent waiting for her atop a ridge. She raised his right arm PPC and fired a bolt, but the Timber Wolf twisted away as it back into a hull down position—and it flushed its missile racks in reply before sending two beams of coherent light tearing into the armor of her medium-weight OmniMech.

Helena fought to retain her feet and she pressed the throttle forward, closing the range to bring her other weapons into play . . . but her opponent kept backing down the reverse slope and she lost contact!

She cursed the ore which prevented an accurate MAD-scan, but the vibration sensors showed that the Timber Wolf had picked up the pace. She was running! Natasha Kerensky was running. Helena howled as she slammed the throttle to the stops and soared over the ridge . . . only to see the dense forest a few hundred meters in front of her; she didn’t stop, however, she kept going in pursuit until her threat sensors detected the massive missile launcher from behind her!

Helena twisted the Ice Ferret, and her face reddened as the rear camera showed Natasha’s OmniMech running in place beneath an outcropping of rock—she didn’t have time to curse as forty missiles slammed into her, and then two powerful lasers severed her right arm . . . and her main weapon. The young Warrior completed her turn and she charged back into towards the heavy OmniMech, but Natasha didn’t move; she stood perfectly still and only adjusted the angle of her pod mounted lasers, which streaked out and clipped the Ice Ferret’s right thigh. Helena triggered her last two weapons, but the two small Short-Range Missiles failed to lock, and the single ER Small Laser just burnt a shallow gouge across the Timber Wolf’s thick nose.

The hip of her ‘Mech destroyed, Helena slammed into the ground, despite all that she tried to keep it standing, and Natasha Kerensky lowered her weapon pods a fraction and fired again and again and again, until the medium-weight machine simply shut down from the accumulated damage.

*****************************************************************

Karl sneered at other two Warriors who had failed to stop this old decrepit dezgra surat who had defeated them. Surely she would not fare as well against his Nova. He had spotted her OmniMech during his drop, standing in open ground and waiting for him—approaching her would offer him no cover, no concealment, and he would be vulnerable to her weapons until he closed the range. But she had to have to taken damage from the previous fights. And once he closed, nothing could stand against the combined force of his onboard armament . . . NOTHING!

He cleared the last ridge soaring over on his jump jets—and he reeled as twin beams of golden light tore into his right arm! How had she seen him approach? But that question went unanswered and Karl swore as he realized that she had severed his right arm, along with half his guns! He charged down the slope as she just stood there and then the missile racks blossomed with fire and dozens of explosions tore across the Nova’s forward face—two even spider webbed the cockpit canopy, but didn’t manage to penetrate. Then she fired the lasers again—and this time his left arm took both hits, which left him without any guns. Karl came to a stop and he simply stared at his opponent . . . she didn’t have a targeting computer, she couldn’t have aimed those shots! It simply wasn’t possible! And yet . . . she had.

“Eject,” an amused voice came over the radio.

“You have won, go and do not add to my shame,” Karl answered, and she laughed. She laughed.

“You’re all a bunch of fools, Warriors. There are no lethal weapons, only lethal people. True-born, free-birth, young, old, it makes no difference, if you are one of those lethal people.” Her lasers reached out again and tore into his chest, and then a second time, and the Nova crashed into the ground. “The fight is not finished as long a real Warrior has breath in her body—this is not Trial, boy, this is War.”

And the Black Widow moved off.

*****************************************************************

The Stormcrow was Natasha’s toughest fight, and the two circled each other as the Black Widow held the range as much as she could, while the Warrior fighting her tried to close. Lasers and missiles criss-crossed the battlefield, and the Timber Wolf’s armor had been weakened—but the lighter Stormcrow simply could not take the pounding of missile flight after missile flight, and the blazing icepicks of armor-ripping death her Large Lasers represented.

*****************************************************************

Star Commander Heinrich Mattlov felt as if the Black Widow was leading him into a trap; he slowed the pace of his Mad Dog and he consulted his map. Her transponder was on and flashing; she was ahead of him and stationary—but she had also destroyed the OmniMechs of his Star mates rather handily. He moved cautiously and through the thick woods he could see here standing there, just waiting for him.

His radio crackled. “Are true-borns admitted to the Ebon Keshik this cowardly today? Fifty years ago when I received my Bloodname, at least they had balls.”

Heinrich roared and he threw caution to the winds and charged forward, his large pulse lasers spitting fire and his missile launchers roaring—but the Black Widow was moving sideways and her lasers were returning fire . . . only the lasers. One hit each of the legs of Heinrich’s Mad Dog, and he snarled as half of his own missiles went true, along with one of large pulse lasers at extreme range. My legs have more armor than that, he thought!

That was when he charged straight into the field of FASCAM mines Natasha had laid with her final missile salvoes. Explosions ripped into his OmniMech’s feet and ankles and shins and knees—and the Star Commander felt the shuddering crack as the skeletal structure broke in two, and the ‘Mech fell. But he did not eject, he held down the trigger and sent another missile flight flying, even as his cockpit landed atop another mine.

*****************************************************************

Star Captain Edward Banacek laughed as he sent first one and then the second ER PPC bolt home against the Warrior before him. He was bathed in sweat due to the sweltering heat the weapons produced, but he maneuvered his Hellbringer through the woods expertly. The Timber Wolf facing him was heavier, but Kerensky had depleted her missile ammunition and suffered damage at the hands of the prior Warriors to face her. She had no chance, not in this fight against a pristine—if non-upgraded Hellbringer Prime. Her lasers lanced out, tearing through Banacek’s thin armor, but in answer he fired one of his PPCs and a flight of LRMs; lowering the heat burden on his machine—and seven of those missiles and the PPC bolt landed on her left arm and tore away half of her remaining firepower.

“Surrender, Star Colonel Kerensky,” he transmitted. “You have defeated five—but you shall not defeat me.”

“I don’t give in that easily, Star Captain,” she answered as she charged forward, her Timber Wolf tearing through the underbrush and she fired her last remaining weapon, connecting squarely against the chest of the Hellbringer. Banacek returned fire, once again with twin ER PPC bolts lancing out and tearing away her last weapon system. He smiled . . . she was done for. His armor had been thinned, but she had not even penetrated anywhere on his front, although the little remaining was barely more than foil.

But Natasha didn’t seem to realize she had lost, and Banacek paled as she kept charging forward, transforming into a 75-ton battering ram moving at 86.4 kilometers per hour! The Star Captain hit the override and he salvoed every weapon he had, tearing into the rugged OmniMech bearing down on him—he didn’t even take the time for a target lock; he just judged her rate of closure and opened up with all of his weapons.

Sirens screamed and Banacek gasped against the heat spike as his OmniMech went into automatic shutdown, but Natasha didn’t slow, despite the missiles and PPC bolts and lasers and machine-guns ripping away chucks of armor from her Timber Wolf's frame.

And then she slammed into Banacek’s Hellbringer, and the lighter war-machine crumpled, knocked over and trod on by the heavy round feet of Kerensky's Timber Wolf; it’s thin armor already weakened was torn asunder, internal components were ripped apart and shattered beneath the weight bearing down atop of them, and emergency lights began to flash showing weapons and engines and gyros and a dozen other systems disabled. Banacek winced as the 65-ton heavy OmniMech slammed into the ground on its back, battered and broken, and defeated. And then his radio—operating on battery power—crackled one last time.

“The fight’s not over until the widow-lady sings. Na-na-na-na. Na-na-na-na. Hey hey-ey, goodbye. And now, your fight is over,” she laughed. “Six for six; you know, in the old days, they would’ve given me a Galaxy!"


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:26 am 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Nicely done...not some silliness as jump jets to the head load of crap we have had to endure...nicely done.

_________________
Karagin-

Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

[url]http://karagin12.livejournal.com/[/url]

The Wookiee, he's not wearing any pants!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Very nice indeed. :toast:

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Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:32 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Wolf Field Headquarters, Lubeck
Hohenems, Clan Wolf Occupation Zone
September 22, 3043


Ulric Kerensky grinned broadly as Yvonne officially acknowledged the results of Natasha Kerensky’s Trial, and confirmed her rank as Star Colonel—and a Cluster commander in the Clan Wolf Invasion force.

“You have assembled a command for her Khan Kerensky, quiaff?” asked Yvonne.

“Aff. The 13th Wolf Guards are even now forming up from replacements we have available—the Cluster will be attached to Alpha Galaxy.”

Yvonne nodded and she turned to the Black Widow and shook her head. “I wish you would reconsider, Star Colonel Kerensky . . . the Ebon Keshik could use someone of your skills as its commanding officer.”

“I was decanted a Wolf, ilKhan, and I intend to die a Wolf,” Natasha answered. And then she snorted. “Besides, I believe that my presence—and my lack of patience for certain customs and traditions that do not serve the Clans any longer—in your Keshik would give some of the other Khans reasons to oppose your leadership.” She laughed. “Of course, the thought of Norman Rood, Andrew McFadden, or Perigard Zalman suffering a stroke is quite attractive. But I fear I must decline your offer.”

Yvonne nodded. “That is your right, Star Colonel Kerensky. Will you be ready for operations come November 1?”

“Aff, ilKhan. Khan Kerensky has already informed me that my 13th Wolf Guards will lead the assault on Tamar.”

“Hopefully with the remainder of the Wolf Alpha Galaxy at your back,” Yvonne said dryly. “Those defenses will not succumb to a single Cluster.”

Ulric snorted. “Tamar will be taken by Alpha and Beta Galaxies, with Gamma in reserve—fully supported by the Coyote Alpha Galaxy as well. I will take no chances at my first attempt to capture a theatre capital.”

“Very well, then. You have my congratulations once again, Natasha Kerensky—welcome back to the fold of the Clans of your namesake,” the ilKhan finished. “And now, I must depart Hohenems and see to the Vipers. Your hospitality to the ilKhan has been flawless, Khan Kerensky; good day.”

“Good day,” Ulric and Natasha answered as the ilKhan left their presence en route to her DropShip.

Ulric sat back down in his chair and he motioned for Natasha to pull up a seat. “And now that we are finally alone, Natasha . . . what the hell is Jaime Wolf up to? And why did you really come back?”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:50 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Chapter Six

“There are some who ask why we of the Federated Suns are spending our treasure and blood to protect Steiner, Magnusson, and Kurita worlds. There are some who would see our traditional opponents in the Draconis Combine go down to bitter defeat. My people, such a vision is short-sighted, for the Clans of Kerensky pose a threat that the House of Kurita could never match. They threaten not only our sovereignty, but our very way of life; to a degree that the Combine has never threatened us. If House Kurita and House Steiner falls, then it is only a matter of time before the Sun sets across our Federation.”

“We grieve for those brave men and women who have given their last full measure of devotion, not just for the Federated Suns, but for all of mankind. Their sacrifice cannot, and must not, have been made in vain. Upon this High Holy Day, when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, I would ask all those in my realm to remember that there are families among us who mourn the loss of their fathers, their mothers, their sisters brothers, their children . . . reach out to them and let them know that their loved ones died as heroes who stood and fought for a cause in which they believed.”

“I cannot promise you that the coming year will bring any respite from the fighting along the Clan front, but I can promise you that if we stand united against this threat, we will triumph in the end. And on that day of our victory, when the guns fall silent and peace settles across our common borders, then will the supreme sacrifice our sons and daughters have made be redeemed. This year, I do not send you my thoughts for a Merry Christmas, for our sorrows consume much of our thoughts. Instead, I ask that you share with me a moment of silence and a prayer for the families of those who have laid downs their lives in defense of your liberties.”

—Hanse Davion, in his Christmas Address, New Avalon, Federated Suns, 3043


Chainelaine Expeditionary Force,
Chainelaine Isles
October 26, 3043


With only scanty intelligence on the Clan defenses in Chainelaine, General Winson and Marshal Davion decided to rely upon speed and surprise to disrupt the Clan defenses. Each system would be hit simultaneously by two Regiments of the Chainelaine Expeditionary Force; their mission to destroy factories and supply depots . . . and to steal as much Clan technology as possible. By striking everywhere at once, they hoped that no one Clan could call upon the others for help.

Their decision was endorsed by Jaime Wolf, who believed that there would be few defenders in the Isles . . . and for the most part, their decision was the correct one, but one that would come with hellacious casualties.

In the Chaine Cluster, the handful of Viper defenders were quickly overcome by the 4th Deneb Light Cavalry and the Legion of the Rising Sun; on Far Reach, the 3rd Regiment of the 12th Star Guards and the 2nd Ceti Hussars fought through the Hellion defenders to sack the factory complexes. All four of the regiments assigned to these attacks managed to withdraw in good order, leaving burning factories and broken formations in their wake—and with hundreds of tons of stolen goods in their possession.

Fredotto was a surprise in that three Clans shared that world, but the 10th Deneb Light Cavalry and Grey Death Legion managed to bull through the Fire Mandrill defenders of one enclave . . . and then redeploy against the Blood Spirits to strike a second target. The ferocious defense of these facilities by the Mandrills and Spirits, however, had weakened the attackers to the point where Colonel Carlyle decided against hitting the Nova Cats; he managed to withdraw in good order, wrecking two factory complexes, but both of the regiments under his command lost around a third of their number.

Idrmach was hit by the 1st Regiment of the 12th Star Guard and the 8th Deneb Light Cavalry. The single Smoke Jaguar second-line Cluster assigned to defend the factories was caught off-guard and quickly forced to retreat, but the free-birth Warriors of the 232nd Provisional Garrison Cluster refused to budge; they fought a vicious battle amid the burning factories, until the shame of seeing the PGC put up such a gallant fight brought the 17th Jaguar Regulars back in a blistering counter-offensive. Both Inner Sphere Regiments were forced to withdraw with heavy casualties, and the Jaguar factories—though damaged—remained operational.

Ingvolstand was a most unpleasant surprise for the 1st and 2nd Screaming Eagles. While their drop was unopposed, they faced four Clusters of Coyotes and Wolfs . . . but luckily, the two were situated on separate continents. The mercenaries managed to defeat the Coyote defenders and smashed their factories flat—but in the process suffered the loss of nearly half their number. The survivors withdrew instead of hitting the Wolf factories, saving themselves for future operations.

Syrstart, defended by one Cluster of Cobras and three of Adders was next: and here the 21st Striker and 71st Light Horse of the Eridani hit. Led by General Winson, she dropped her command atop of the Cobras and quickly managed to defeat them and wreak havoc amongst the factories. She attempted to move on and assault the Adders, but found herself outnumbered and outgunned—and two of the second-line Adder Sentinel Clusters facing her were elite. Discretion being the better part of valor, she then withdrew to her waiting DropShips and left the system, bearing much salvaged loot in the empty 'Mech and fighter bays.

The 12th Deneb Light Cavalry and the 7th Regiment of the 12th Star Guards hit Haublan—and ran straight into the gaping maw of a Diamond Shark front-line Galaxy. In a similar fashion, the 1st Ceti Hussars and 15th Deneb Light Cavalry dropped into the waiting talons of the Falcon’s Zeta Galaxy (another front-line unit) on Vannes. Not one member of the four Regiments survived to escape off world.

The 3rd Ceti Hussars and 5th Deneb Light Cavalry Regiments jumped into Paran—only to see the bulk of a McKenna-class battleship and her escorts in orbit. Throwing all of their aerospace fighter assets against the Snow Raven ships, the two Regiments tried to quick-charge their drives and escape—one Invader-class ship suffered a KF drive failure, stranding the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Deneb, but the rest withdrew sans their fighters and assault ships. The 2nd of the 5th bargained for a combat drop onto the surface, using Jaime Wolf's shared knowledge of Clan customs where they faced off against a single Cluster of Horses. The few survivors were quickly taken as bondsmen.

And then there was Rondane . . .


Last edited by master arminas on Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:51 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Scorpion Delta Galaxy Field Headquarters, Bodo
Rondane, Chainelaine Isles, Clan Goliath Scorpion Enclave
October 26, 3043


Star Colonel Nelson Elam shook his head in disbelief. “What do you mean we are not responding to this attack?” he thundered at last.

“Watch you tone, Star Colonel Elam,” spat Galaxy Commander Ronald Madsen and commander of the 7th Scorpion Dragoons. “The Khan might have given you command of the 20th Cuirassier, but you are still the Warrior who lost our Trial against the Wolves! We are not responding to these landings—they are in the Bear enclave, in case you have not noticed!”

Nelson stood straight and he looked sideways at the commanding officers of the 26th Cuirassier and 22nd Hussars (Star Colonels Denise Pakhalina and Jean Brinker, respectively), but neither met his gaze. Finally, he turned back around to look Madsen squarely in the eyes. “The Raging Bears jumped out yesterday! They have nothing defending those factories except for a handful of garrison troops, Galaxy Commander—not until their Claw Galaxy arrives next week; we have to go to their aid!”

“Star Colonel Elam! Delta Galaxy has been charged with the defense of Scorpion holdings on Rondane; not that of the Bears. And once Epsilon arrives, we too shall depart this miserable, primitive, cold, wet world. If the Bears suffer, then they will suffer—but I will not risk a single Scorpion Warriors life to defend another Clan! There will be no more discussion of this, quiaff?”

“NEG!” shouted Nelson. “Are you truly that much of an imbecile, Galaxy Commander? Have you lost sight of what the Khan is trying to accomplish here? Do you fail to realize what this utter betrayal of our ally will cost us in the Invasion to come?”

“You are bordering on facing me in a Circle of Equals, Elam,” Madsen growled. “Return to your Cluster and prepare your Warriors to defend our factories here!”

“Neg. The 20th will board ship and we will drop on the Bear complex to aid our ally—that is what our Khan, whose aide I have been since this Invasion began, wants and expects!”

Ronald Madsen drew himself up to his full six foot four inches in height and he glowered down on Nelson. “You are relived and under arrest, Star Colonel—I will deal with you after the Swift Strikers repulse this attack on Scorpion holdings within our enclave.”

“I demand a Trial of Refusal, Galaxy Commander.”

“Denied—this is a combat operation.”

“In that case, I demand a Trial of Grievance.”

Denied! Now leave, or I will have you removed!”

“Then you leave me with no choice, Galaxy Commander,” Nelson whispered as he drew his sidearm and fired a single round through Madsen’s left eye. “I find you guilty of treason against the Scorpion—and of utter incompetence that cannot be allowed in this Clan’s ranking officers,” he said to the corpse. “I am assuming immediate command of the Swift Strikers,” he said to the two shocked Scorpions standing before him. “Your Clusters will board ship immediately to intercept these free-birth attackers, or you will join Ronald Madsen in death. The decision is yours.”


Command Trinary, 20th Scorpion Cuirassier Cluster
Rondane, Chainelaine Isles, Clan Ghost Bear Enclave
October 26, 3043


We are taking heavy casualties, Ascendant Actual,” the voice of the beleaguered Bear Garrison commander came over the radio. “These free-birth are very good—and they are tenacious. We cannot hold much longer,” he admitted.

“Swift Strikers are inbound your position, ETA three minutes to contact—Khan Djerassi promised that the Scorpions would defend the Bears by sting or claw; today we fufill that promise.” Nelson switched frequencies. “Swift Strikers! Strike hard, strike fast, and strike true! May victory be given to the righteous and the just!”

“SEYLA!” the voices of more than eight hundred Scorpions answered Nelson as he topped the final ridge and immediately came under attack.

"Half a league, half a league, half a league onward; all in the valley of Death rode the eight hundred; 'forward the Strike Brigade, charge for the guns' he said; into the Valley of Death rode the eight hundred," Nelson recited over his open transmitter as he fired his Gauss Rifle and ER PPC into a Federated Sun's Quickdraw that approached him.

He pressed on, shifting his weapons to an Eridani target. "'Forward the Strike Brigade!' Was there a man dismay'd? Not tho' the soldier knew some one had blunder'd: theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do & die, into the Valley of Death rode the eight hundred!"

Nelson's heavy Summoner II staggered as four Light Horsemen poured their fire into his frame, melting away armor, but he twisted and pivoted and smashed one into bloody ruin with his Gauss Rifle; the second with the massed banks of ER Small Lasers lining his torsos. His trothkin dealt with the third and the fourth.

"Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon in front of them volley'd & thunder'd; storm'd at with shot & shell, boldy they rode & well, into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell, rode the eight hundred."

His voice rose as he pressed on forward and in his wake came the eight hundred Scorpions, and faced with the shock of that sudden and swift attack on their flank, the Federated Suns Armored Cavalry reeled back; the Light Horsemen of the Eridani's 151st shuddered and shivered and pulled away from their lines where they were still fighting the few remaining Bear vehicles and infantry.

"Flash'd all their sabres bare, flash'd as they turn'd in air, sabring the gunners there, charging an army while all the world wonder'd; plunged into the battery-smoke right thro' the line they broke; FedSun & Light Horse reel'd from the sabre-strike, shatter'd & sunder'd. Then they rode back, but not, not the eight hundred!"

"NOT THE EIGHT HUNDRED!" shouted scores of voices across the radio, and the wave of Scorpion 'Mechs and Elementals, and the Aerospace and OmniFighters overhead slammed into the vastly outnumbered opponents in the Valley below.

"When can their glory fade?"

"NEVER!"

"O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Strike Brigade! O Noble eight hundred!"

Nelson finished as he fired another Gauss Slug into a Griffin painted in the colors of the House of Davion; its hip shattered, the medium 'Mech slammed down to the ground.

"Surrender, or your troops will live no more than the men that Tennyson once wrote about all those centuries ago," Nelson said as he lowered his ER PPC to point directly at Stephen Davion's cockpit. "Whether they live as bondsmen, or die in vain, that is now your choice. Make that choice, and make it now."


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:39 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CGSS Serket, High Orbit
Rasalhague, Clan Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
October 28, 3043


“I do not know what are going to do with Nelson,” Nikolai said as he and Randall waited for the HPG connection to be made. “I did not send him out there to shoot down Ronald Madsen!”

Randal Posavatz shook his head with a grin on his face as the Khan of the Goliath Scorpions’ newest aide cleared his throat. “You should promote him to Galaxy Commander, my Khan,” Jason Scott said. “He served you—and the Clan—well on Rondane.”

“Remind me why I appointed him as my aide, Randall?”

“Something about you needed someone to keep telling you that you are only mortal and can make mistakes just like everyone else.”

“Yes, now I remember,” Nikolai said sourly. “Star Captain Scott, he killed Galaxy Commander Madsen in cold blood without a Trial—I cannot reward him!”

“Of course you can, my Khan,” Jason answered. “Remember how Mikhail Kirov became Khan? Gregor Lunde was a threat to our Clan’s continued survival—and so was Ronald Madsen. And I have heard certain . . . rumors concerning you and Angela Tazegul. Rumors of events within the Temple of the Nine Muses before her death during your Trial.”

Nikolai frowned, but his saKhan only burst out laughing. “He is right, Nikolai. Nelson Elam saved our relations with the Bears and right now the rumors that I am hearing from Rondane seem to indicate that he may well be elected to Galaxy Commander if you do not put forward a candidate soon.”

“And the other Khans will take my rewarding him as proof that we are edging away from the True Clan Way.”

“My Khan, they already believe that,” commented Jason. “We Scorpions are seen as different—because we are. We learn philosophy and history and literature and we ask questions that no proper Warrior of the Clans of Kerensky should ask. We take a pragmatic view on things—such as the interrogation of a Warrior who has long been apart from the Clans and may be a spy for our enemies. The other Khans need no additional reason to dislike us . . . but at this moment, when it was your warnings those Khans disregarded about their own defenses in Chainelaine, they cannot touch you in the kurultai without appearing as hypocrites of the highest order. And do not forget, you have your own backers, especially Khan Tseng who owes her factories and supply depots continued existence to you and the actions of Star Colonel Elam.”

Jason grinned. “And should the worst come to pass, we will soon have four full Galaxies—seventeen Clusters—here in the Inner Sphere and Chainelaine. That is, I believe, as many as the Primary Clans in this Invasion possesses. Once Epsilon arrives on Rondane, you already have the ilKhan’s command to bring forward Delta, whether Norman Rood or Perigard Zalman or Brandon Howell take umbrage at that or not. And since we Scorpions are hitting no worlds in Wave III, and the Bears but four worlds, our Clusters will be at full strength and well-rested if some Khan wishes to challenge you.”

Nikolai frowned and he shook his head, before turning to Randall. “You are enjoying this, quiaff?”

“Aff. I am outclassed by your wit and your foresight and your ruthlessness, my Khan—always have been. It is worth two full Clusters of OmniMechs to see that you have a rival in those departments amongst the next generation of Warriors to come. You know, he is much like you in your youth!”

“Please! I was never so . . . arrogant.”

“Says the Khan who strapped the Clan’s Loremaster to a table and chemically interrogated her,” Randall laughed. “You did not hear that Jason Scott.”

The young man bowed. “Hear what, my saKhan?”

“See?” Randall beamed. “Just like you—and you deserve it.”

Jason cleared his throat. “The connection is being made, my Khan.”

Nikolai took in a deep breath and he nodded. The lights in the compartment dimmed and the holographic projector activated; one-by-one the holograms of his fellow Khans shimmered into existence.

“I shall waste no time,” Yvonne said. “Wave III starts in four days—have we sufficient supplies of munitions and spare parts to carry on?”

Ulric nodded. “Barely, my Khan—if those Clans who were not hit quite so hard in Chainelaine share some of their stockpiles. But our reserve has vanished.”

“Agreed,” said Brandon Howell. “The 17th Jaguar Regulars were unable to prevent all loses, but they preserved enough supplies that we should be able to complete Wave III on schedule—we will need to rebuilt and repair those facilities before Wave IV, however. I cannot speak for the worst hit Clans, however—the Vipers and Hellions, the Mandrills and Spirits who each share a corridor; they lost virtually all of their stockpiles.” Howell paused and he shook his head. “And before anyone else can rub salt into our wounds, Khan Djerassi—you were right, we should have stationed a larger and more robust garrison on our depot worlds. That oversight by my predecessor—which I concurred with at the time—is now being corrected!”

Nikolai nodded his head. “I devoutly wish that I had been wrong, Khan Howell. My Scorpions have ample supplies—if the Jaguars, Spirits, or Mandrills have need of them, I can make good their losses for Wave III. Wave IV might be . . . problematic.”

Many Khans looked surprised; most had expected Nikolai to hold over their heads his warnings—but his calm demeanor and reasoned response only underscored the fact that he had been right, and they had been wrong.

“And you can spare nothing for the Vipers and Hellions!” screamed Norman Rood. “You would wreck the Invasion by denying us our rightful supplies!”

“Khan Rood,” Nikolai said calmly, “the Jaguars, Spirits and Mandrills are closer to my worlds than either the Ice Hellions or the Steel Vipers. You have the Falcons and Sharks, the Horses and Ravens in much greater proximity than my Clan.” And then Nikolai smiled. “And I cannot say that I am sorry we in an adjoining corridor; after all, if I must give up my supplies for the good of the Invasion, I would prefer to see them used for some gain and wasted on not foolish loses inspired by your own haughty sense of honor and entitlement.”

Norman Rood’s face drained of blood until he appeared as white as a ghost, and he began to snarl his furious outrage . . . until another voice cut him off.

“ENOUGH!” thundered Yvonne, and while she managed to hold onto her stern expression, Nikolai could see she was struggling to contain the laughter.

“If it is fighting that you desire, all of you can find it on your own front-lines! We have enemies enough surrounding us; we do not need to fight each other here in this Council as well!”

Yvonne paused and she looked—glared—at each and every Khan in turn. No one challenged her and she finally nodded. “In absolute terms, we did not lose that much in supplies—the majority of the factories destroyed were small in output and mostly devoted to munitions and spare parts. I believe that the more . . . extensive facilities emplaced by the Scorpions and Sharks can take up the slack—and our OmniMech production was not touched. Still, this serves as a warning that we cannot rely on the Inner Sphere to remain on the defensive. Even though the ratio of casualties remained heavily tilted in our favor, we cannot allow our opponents the opportunity to deliver a catastrophic blow in the future.”

Each Khan nodded. “For the moment, I am ordering the Falcons, Scorpions, and Ravens to move at least one WarShip into orbit above every one of our worlds in the Isles. Khan Djerassi . . . I was informed that your Striking Claw Naval Star was not present during the attack. If it is not a Clan secret, where exactly were your WarShips?”

Nikolai smiled. “As the command circuit is not yet completed, ilKhan, I sent them to ferry Epsilon Galaxy from the current endpoints to Rondane—the timing was . . . not exactly fortuitous. They will be back on station in two weeks time.”

Yvonne nodded. “See that they are. I understand as well that your Fire Wheel Transport Star just arrived back in the Pentagon and will be making another delivery of your civilians to Rondane; is this true?”

“Aff, ilKhan Hazen.”

“With fifty docking collars, I want those ships ferrying additional combat forces instead of civilians. Those two ships can carry two Galaxies and their supplies—the Jaguars and the Horse’s each have a front-line Galaxy waiting for transport in the Pentagon.”

Nikolai winced, but he nodded. “I will make the arrangements, ilKhan.”

“Thank you, Khan Djerassi. And I shall expect the remaining Khans to comply with my requests in support of this Invasion just as graciously . . . unless someone wishes to demand a Trial of Refusal?”

No one spoke.

“We launch Wave III in four days—make certain we are not surprised this time around. We are adjourned.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:07 pm 
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Stratego
Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Very well delivered! I am awaiting the next parts. This one has me hooked!

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Karagin-

Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

[url]http://karagin12.livejournal.com/[/url]

The Wookiee, he's not wearing any pants!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:32 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CGSS Serket, High Orbit
Rasalhague, Clan Ghost Bear Occupation Zone
October 31, 3043


The blue-white orb of Tukayyid rotated slowly in the holographic projection. saKhan Randall Posavatz shook his head sorrowfully as he gazed at the orb. “That is Wave V, Nikolai—and in the Wolf Zone. Yvonne has already ruled out trying to leap ahead and hit them now.”

Nikolai nodded his agreement. “Yes, she has. Consider this, however: at the conclusion of Wave III, we will be just three jumps away from Tukayyid—and we will have, as Star Captain Scott said just a few days ago, four full Galaxies with seventeen Clusters at our disposal—well rested and unharmed from Wave III operations.”

Randall frowned. “That is if we leave Rondane virtually defenseless, Nikolai.”

“We have four Garrison clusters on Rondane, Randall—there comes a time in War when one must take calculated risks. I doubt that the Inner Sphere will throw another twenty Regiments against the Isles; Jaime Wolf will believe that we reinforced those worlds heavily . . . which is what he wants us to do.” The Scorpion Khan ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. “We do not have enough Warriors to garrison all of our worlds in strength, saKhan Posavatz. And this Supreme Commander knows it. I am coming to believe that this raid on the Isles was done to force us to station more troops there, where they will play no part in the key battles yet to come.”

“That may well be, but against what the Black Widow reported this Grand Army has? Seventeen Clusters will die a quick death, my Khan. We are speaking of two-thirds of our entire touman.”

“I do not believe her,” Nikolai said quietly. “Wolf is there, but not in the numbers she claimed. I know it deep within my bones, Randall. And it will be with no seventeen Clusters that we carry off this attack.” He punched a button and additional icons began to appear on the holographic display.

“Amanda has agreed to this?” the saKhan asked in surprise.

“IF, the ilKhan approves the operation, and IF the Sharks and Falcons commit their reserve Galaxy in support.”

“Still, even with those forces, that is just another twenty-one Clusters—five Falcon, four Shark, and twelve Bear. Thirty-eight Clusters in total on our side versus an unknown number of hostiles. Let us say that Natasha lied and doubled the number available to this Grand Army—we will be facing fifty regiments of ‘Mechs, plus supporting forces. The numbers alone are adverse in the extreme.”

“Plus the Ebon Keshik—if we commit to this, I cannot see Yvonne standing on the sideline.” And Nikolai smiled. “Jake and Marion will commit forces as well; their own plus those of the Ravens and Cobras. Pavel Kerensky will give us at least two Clusters, and Khan West has already agreed—in confidence—to add two more of his own; IF Yvonne approves. The Mandrills have not the numbers to add to our forces—and Howell’s Jaguars will be hard pressed until their next Galaxy arrives . . . too late for this operation. And frankly, I think our chances of success are better without the Vipers and Hellions than with them.”

Randall snorted his agreement.

“But . . . Khan McFadden has an entire Galaxy scheduled to arrive on November 2nd—and he is very interested in being a part of the force that breaks this Grand Army.”

“Eighteen more; fifty-six Clusters—which gives us the advantage in units, but still leaves us outnumbered once we factor in their armor and infantry support,” the junior Khan mused. “What about Ulric? Have you spoken to him?”

“And risk Natasha finding out? When she may be spying on us for her master of so many years? Neg. If we do this, he has to be informed at the last minute—which will limit his contribution.”

Randall nodded his agreement.

“Fifty-six Clusters, plus what the Wolves can throw together on a short notice—say one Galaxy—for a total of sixty. Khan Djerassi, we have already seen what the Inner Sphere is capable of on the defensive; it will not be enough to guarantee victory. Not against fifty of their finest Regiments.”

“Or will it, saKhan Posavatz?” Nikolai asked. “So far, we have danced to Jaime Wolf’s tune—we have played his game. He anticipated where our attack was coming and the worlds we hit have had years to build their fortifications. But Tukayyid? If I am judging our opponent correctly, Tukayyid is not meant to serve as a battleground—it is his staging and training area. I am willing to wager the entire Invasion that world is not as heavily fortified. Oh, there will be local defenses, I am certain, but not the extensive defensive works we have so far seen—and will see more of in Wave III.”

Nikolai circled the floating globe. “No,” he said shaking his head. “Wolf’s Grand Army is an offensive unit—not defensive. And if we allow him to launch his attack without disruption, it will stop the Invasion for years, if he doesn’t shatter us all and force us to withdraw to Chainelaine.”

The saKhan sighed and he nodded his agreement. “Yvonne will never agree; it is too much the gamble, Nikolai,” he whispered.

“Every Khan is a skilled gambler, Randall—you know that. And while Yvonne Hazen is cautious, she is also a Falcon; one to whom this type of spoiling attack is greatly appealing. But we will have to approach her correctly—and make her believe that this will neutralize the Grand Army. And we play to her hubris; as ilKhan she will command sixty Clusters on the field of battle; she will not just coordinate the Clans, but will have to serve as our Supreme Commander, our War Leader.. If she does this and is successful, her legacy will be prized alongside that of Elizabth Hazen hereself. The Scientists have yet to breed pride and hubris away from us, Randall. We remain human, after all.”

“And their WarShips?” Randall laughed, “Not that I believe they have fifty at Tukayyid—but they will have some.”

“And we have our own. “Peter McKenna has agreed to command our combined Naval forces from the bridge of CRS James McKenna—and CGSS Requiem will be there beside her.”

“That will require reshuffling of our naval assets, my Khan. Yvonne has already ordered a WarShip in orbit of every world in the Isles.”

“We cannot be strong everywhere, Randall. We must be strong at the point of decision,” Nikolai gestured towards the floating orb as it slowly turned in place. “This world is our point of decision.”

"Seyla," whispered Randall.

And the Khan of Clan Goliath Scorpion nodded his agreement. "Seyla, indeed."


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Very impressive so far.

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Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:09 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Ducal Palace, Bueller
Robinson, Federated Suns
October 31, 3043


James Sandoval hovered over the map, as his most loyal Colonels of the 1st and 2nd Robinson Rangers and the 2nd New Ivaarsen Chasseurs waited stoicly for his commands; in addition, several lesser commanders, and the Colonel of the Draconis March Militia, along with five mercenary commanders stood alongside.

“Has this been confirmed?” the newly crowned Duke of Robinson asked.

“Yes, my Lord. Theodore Kurita has pulled the majority of the Galedon and Dieron Regulars from the border—a merchantman who engages in cross-border trading travelled to Marduk himself . . . they have only the planetary militia left there and a single battalion of cadets from the 5th Sun Zhang Training Cadre.”

“Well, well, well,” James whispered. “Perhaps these Clans are good for something after all, eh, gentlemen?”

Chuckles went around the room and James stood and stretched. “There is no time like the present—General Vehrson . . . are my Rangers prepared for operations off-world?”

“They are indeed, your Grace,” answered Eric Vehrson.

“Then to hell with Hanse Davion and what he has ordered—go, General. Reclaim Marduk, McComb, and Royal for the Lion of Robinson. The rest of you will prepare to receive any counterattack that Kurita sends against us—if he proves too weak to defend himself against us and these Clans at the same time, we will start a general offensive to seize all the worlds we have lost to the Snakes in the past! Gentlemen. This is our time! Now, New Avalon will follow our lead!”

James received the applause of his officers humbly and then he motioned them to the door. He drew in a deep breath and sat down at his desk—the desk that until recently had been his father Aaron’s. Drawing a stylus, he licked the tip and began to write graceful letters upon an old-fashion sheet of parchment.

Dear Hanse, he wrote. Today, I have done what you should have done. Today, I have launched an invasion of the Draconis Combine. They are our enemy, not these so-called Clans who claw away at your wife’s realm. By the time you receive this message, it shall be too late for you to stop me—my Regiments will accomplish what so many generations of Davions have failed to do. I will end the threat posed to the Federated Suns by the Draconis Combine—and you, dear Hanse, will be a spectator to my victory.

James signed it with a flourish and he folded it carefully and sealed it within a parchment envelope, dipping his Ducal seal in wax before pressing down upon the flap.

“Take this to the JumpShip, Leonard,” he ordered his major-domo, “and tell Captain Cassidy he need not hurry to make the delivery.”

And with that, the Lion of Robinson sat back and he smiled as he stared at a map of all of the worlds he would liberate from Kurita rule.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
and with this selfish greed comes doom.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:23 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
ComStar First Circuit
Hilton Head, Terra
October 31, 3043


Michael York frowned as he restarted the video. On the screen, the image of Duke James Sandoval, the leader of the Draconis March in the Federated Suns appeared—his face grave and somber.

“Citizens of the Federated Suns. Today, I come before you with news that we are once again at engaged in military operations. Now, this is not news, I am certain many of you will say. You are well aware of the sacrifices made by brave men and women of the Federated Suns; sacrifices made to defend foreign soil from a group of invaders that do not threaten our realm. I do not deny their bravery and their courage, to lay down their lives so far from home, to defend the realm of the wife of the First Prince. After all, the Lyrans need our soldiers to defend their homes—they have been nothing but a failure at military arms for centuries.”

“Whereas we, the citizens of the Federated Suns, we have taken warfare to heart and our Regiments outmatch any other in existence today. I do not question the need for the First Prince to bleed away our treasure and our men in order to preserve a small portion of his wife’s realm—but in the process of preparing for this attack, Hanse Davion has neglected our border with the Draconis Combine.”

“Have you forgotten how throughout history the House of Kurita has made their goal the subjugation and conquest of the Federated Suns? Have you forgotten how they drove to the gates of New Avalon in the First Succession War? Have you forgotten Kentares? Have you forgotten how the Snakes pursued Wolf’s Dragoons relentlessly and only the superior skills of those mercenaries saved them from annihilation?”

“Have you forgotten that even today, there are worlds on their side of our border with men and women who were born citizens of the Federated Suns and now languish under the dictatorship of the Kuritas?”

“I have not forgotten, and I am certain that many of you remember as well.”

“Prince Davion has forgotten, it seems. He ignores the threat posed to us by the House of Kurita. He draws forces of the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns from our borders, leaving us defenseless before their ambition for conquest. He has sent the cream of our fighting men and women into a foreign land to defend worlds which we have interest in.”

“I have heard the briefs from the First Prince of the Federated Suns. I have heard the arguments that the Combine must stand so to divert the Clan’s strength; it must serve as a buffer zone between us and the Clans who are coming. I have listened, I have heard, and I have read.”

“But one question gnaws at me, fellow citizens. What happens if the Combine, if the House of Kurita collapses under the strain?”

“My briefs show that they are losing regiments like chaff before the fire! Pesht is threatened by these invaders—and soon enough Luthien itself will be. They cannot hold; they have not the strength to hold for much longer.”

“Accordingly, I cannot and I will not leave men and women who were born under the Sword and the Sun to languish any further under the tender affections of the ISF and become in some short time the property of these Clans. I move now, with all of the forces available to me, so that I can liberate Federated Suns worlds conquered by the Snakes in the past, and to establish defensible lines where we in the Federated Suns can contest the Clans, if they come so far. The Clans will be stopped—they will be stopped by the gallant and courageous soldiers of our own Federated Suns Regimental Combat Teams. They will be stopped because we as a free people took a stand and drew a line. And our citizens, those who were born with the full rights and liberties of any of you, will once again be free.”

“My forces will encounter little opposition—the Snakes are too strained to stop us. I do not expect that this . . . police action to preserve the peace will be opposed by the House of Kurita, but if they choose to do so, our soldiers will prevail. We will recover all of our worlds, and all of our people.”

“I am James Sandoval, the Duke of Robinson, and the commander of the Draconis March. And tonight I ask that you pray for the troops of the Federated Suns who are travelling into harm’s way against the Snakes, as well as those on such distant soil fighting the Clans.”

He froze the image. “When did this go out?” the Primus of ComStar asked.

“Demi-Precentor Robinson sent it directly to us. It is being broadcast on Robinson and other key worlds throughout the Draconis March—but not in the Crucis or Capellan Marches,” answered Charles Seneca.

“This could be a problem,” Michael mused.

Charles snorted. “One could say that.”

“Our assets on Robinson?”

“ROM? No, Primus. The Robinson detachment was . . . committed to the philosophy of the prior administration—I had to purge all of them, and replacing them has been a low priority to this point.”

“Pity,” Michael sighed. “James Sandoval certainly deserves a bullet for this. Well, if we have no assets in place, perhaps the MIIO might. Forward this immediately to New Avalon—priority transmission. Waive the fees.”

Charles raised one eyebrow. “You might cause the Fox to have a heart attack, Primus. I mean ROM cooperating with the MIIO?”

“Perhaps Waterly should have tried that if she wished him dead—everything else she did failed, after all.”

“Shall I send a copy to Luthien as well?” asked Charles.

Michael sat down in his seat and he lifted a pen. “No. But inform First Prince Davion I will set up a real time HPG link between New Avalon and Luthien so that he can explain this to Takashi Kurita—and I will once again waive the costs involved. Now, I have reams of paperwork, Charles. Get that transmitted immediately, along with my offer to the Fox.”

“Of course, Primus,” Charles said with a bow.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:55 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
The Fox’s Den, Palace of the First Prince, Avalon City
New Avalon, Federated Suns
October 31, 3043


“That idiot did WHAT?” bellowed Hanse Davion as he came out of his chair.

“He has launched an invasion of the Draconis Combine,” Quintus Allard said quietly. “I have sent instructions to the MIIO on Robinson to investigate this immediately—I have no idea how he managed to pull this off.”

“Wait, if MIIO didn’t know, then how do we have this information?” asked Hanse.

Quintus winced. “ComStar forwarded a video broadcast James is playing on several worlds in the March to New Avalon—at no charge. Primus York is willing to set up a real-time link between New Avalon and Luthien as well, at no charge.”

Hanse sat back in his chair and he looked stunned for a moment. Finally he nodded. “It is a different world, Quintus. Now how do we stop this?”

“We can’t,” the Intelligence Minister said quietly. “His troops are already in motion: the 1st Rangers are heading for Marduk, the 2nd Rangers for Royal, and the 2nd Ivaarsen Chasseurs for McComb.”

“Where did he get the ships?”

“That I can answer—he didn’t.”

“Go on.”

“He has a single battalion combat-loaded; the rest of those units are crammed into a Mammoth as cargo and passengers. He pressed three Merchants into service from companies his family owns—and that was sufficient for his needs.”

“Is James Sandoval insane? Those regiments will cut to pieces if Takashi has anything on the surface—it will take the better part of a day to unload the bulk of those units!”

“Perhaps not, because those worlds are barren of defenders. Just a few battalions of militia and some training cadre on Marduk—the sole combat loaded battalion can deal with those until the rest of the regiments off-load.”

Hanse groaned and Quintus began to reach for the panic button, but the First Prince waved his hand. “No, it’s not that, Quintus. Takashi informed me last week that Marduk was going to serve as the test grounds for a piece of equipment—he didn’t want to provoke me by sending it without a warning.”

“A new piece of equipment?”

Hanse smiled a grim smile. “An old piece of equipment, actually. Are you familiar with the Togura?”

Quintus frowned, and then he blanched. “They didn’t?”

Hanse nodded. “I have no idea how effective she will be, but somehow, Takashi and Theodore got her operational again—probably with ComStar help.”

“She’s an inoperable museum ship!”

“Well, museum or no, Takashi told me she was undergoing weapons trials in the Marduk system before she reports to Luthien.”

“Christ, the Rangers won’t stand a chance.”

Hanse nodded. “And speaking of which, I need to use that link to inform Takashi of what my idiot March commander has done—in the meantime, I want you to get the 1st Guards, the 2nd Guards, and the Assault Guards mobilized for deployment. They can accompany me to Robinson, along with the 4th Crucis Lancers. It is past time that James Sandoval and I had a talk face-to-face.”

Hanse stood. “Get cracking, Quintus. I want to lift immediately after Takashi finishes yelling at me,” the First Prince of the Federated Suns chuckled. “At least the [crap] rolls downhill, because James is about to get fully coated in it.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:29 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
White Palace Press Release—November 8, 3043
Union of Federated Press (UFP) Release for General Publication
(UFP) Filed by Leslie Newman, accredited journalist, New Avalon.


At the White Palace today, Intelligence Minister treated the press corps to Quintus Allard treated the press corps to a very rare briefing session.

Three items were discussed with significant ramifications for the Federated Suns in the years to come.

First, the Minister informed us that First Prince Hanse Davion has officially created the Periphery Marches (see attached map file below) and elevated that oftentimes insecure and insular section of the Federated Suns to an equal footing with the Crucis, Capellan, and Draconis Marches. Minister Allard was also pleased to report that Duke James Sandoval, the Duke of Robinson and commander of the Draconis March, asked the First Prince for a less stressful assignment and will be named as the Duke of Broken Wheel and commander of the Periphery March. Duke Sandoval has made no comment, but his office on Robinson has confirmed the report citing health concerns on behalf of his Grace.

The second piece of information was an explanation of the loss of the entire 1st Robinson Rangers Regimental Combat Team. On maneuvers in the Draconis March, the 1st Rangers JumpShip suffered a mis-jump from which there were no survivors. Minister Allard offered his and the First Princes condolences to the families of the victims and then the Intelligence Minister offered his views on how the tragedy occurred.

“The JumpShip in question was an older vessel owned by the Robinson family; maintenance logs and an examination of the repair practices in use by the vessel’s crew indicate that the vessel had not received several critical upgrades to her K/F Drive Core and a malfunctioning drive controller initiated a jump in close proximity to an asteroidal refueling base. The resulting tidal surges utterly destroyed both the JumpShip (and her attendant DropShips) as well as the refueling base. Due to potential legal actions against the owners of the JumpShip, the names of the crew and the vessel itself are not being released.”

Third, Field Marshall Ardan Sortek has been named as the new Duke of Robinson and the commander of the Draconis March. Duke Sortek is returning from the Clan front to assume his office immediately.

This has been a UFP update. (Cleared for internal and foreign distribution-MIIO)


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Location: Ft. Hood Texas
Well played...and I wonder how Skye and friends will be reacting or not after this move...I don't see many of the fanitcal break-aways wanting to do something crazy but I can see them playing the enemy of my enemy card...

_________________
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Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

[url]http://karagin12.livejournal.com/[/url]

The Wookiee, he's not wearing any pants!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Headquarters, 10th Donegal Guards RCT
Zoetermeer, Lyran Commonwealth
November 1, 3043


Colonel Robert Ohell of the 2nd Regiment, 12th Star Guards spat on the ground as the voice of the invader’s spokesman came over the speaker. “We are the Ice Hellions! From the frigid depths of the empty void we strike, claiming this world in the name of our Clan, the true Heirs of Kerensky. Yield, or dispute our claim by stating the forces you wish to see destroyed.”

“So much for our intelligence claiming that the Vipers would hit us,” muttered Marshall Sarah Steiner, newly appointed to command of the 10th Donegal. “What information do we have in Wolf’s briefing on these . . . Hellions?”

The HQ staff hustled as officers and NCOs scrolled through data, and then one looked up. “A second, perhaps even third, tier Clan. Small, with little Elemental support, but a concentration of ‘Mechs and Fighters . . . according to the file, Marshall, they favor lighter, faster combat units—they have nothing in their touman in the Assault-weight class, outside of ASF assets.”

“Well, hell. Maybe we hand these bastards a defeat after all,” chimed in Robert, as Sarah waved away the acrid smoke from his cigar. “Both our regiments are heavy-weights—we might just have the firepower advantage here, with your tanks and infantry, Marshall Steiner.”

“Maybe,” Sarah answered as she lifted the transmitter. “This is Marshall Sarah Steiner, commanding the 10th Donegal Guards. We will defend this system in the name of Archon Melissa Steiner-Davion; come at your own peril.”

Transmit your Order of Battle so that we may properly tailor our attack,” the radio crackled after a moment.

“Cheeky bastards, aren’t they!” barked Robert.

“Negative, Hellions,” Marshall Steiner answered. “You will have to learn our dispositions the old-fashioned way—through recon.”

There was a pause and then the radio crackled with static again. “We accept your challenge, Marshall Steiner of the 10th Donegal. Do you intend to use artillery in your defense?

“Why don’t you land and find out?”

We shall meet you with the full force of The Blinding then,” and the radio signal died away.

Sarah nodded. “Get back to your Regiment, Bob. I think we might be in for a rough time ahead.”

“Ja, mein Marshall,” he answered with a grin as he snapped to attention; then he turned and left.

Sarah leaned over the map table and bit her lip. Zoetermeer had two vital locations to defend—the capital city of Nieuw Den Haag and the mining operations run by Tamar Mineral Extractions, Ltd., a corporation owned entirely by Duke Kelswa—and she had clear orders from the Duke in command of the Tamar March that the mineral extraction facilities were to be defended at all costs. In addition, the capital spaceport lay fifty-two kilometers outside of Nieuw Den Haag; it too must be held to prevent the Hellions from having access to the refueling facilities and runways.

Accordingly, her 10th Donegal was broken into three Combat Groups, each built around a ‘Mech battalion, a regiment of armor, and two regiments of infantry, reinforced with a battery of artillery. Each Combat Group was dug in deep around the objectives, while her fourth armored regiment had been assigned as subordinate to Ohell’s Regiment. Bob would command her reserve and either reinforce her fire-bases or conduct a counter-attack.

She nodded to herself. There was nothing more to do but wait.

*****************************************************************

The battle started as the 10th Donegal’s aerospace fighters sparred with the Clan fighters in the upper atmosphere. But quickly, the Federated Commonwealth defenders found that they were vastly outnumbered in space; not only did the Hellion have the fighters assigned to the Clusters of their Alpha Galaxy, a York-class carrier had settled into orbit overhead.

Of the seventy-two ASF from the mercenaries and the 10th sent to interdict the attackers, fourteen managed to return to base—nine of those heavily damaged. The Hellions fighters had suffered as well, but they started the conflict with more than two hundred and sixty—and had two hundred untouched units left when the 10th’s few remaining fighters landed.

Following the aerial holocaust, the Hellions took four hours to send recon flights criss-crossing over the inhabited continent of Zoetermeer, their powerful active probes scanning the landscape and seeking out Marshall Steiner’s concentrations. Only after these flights were concluded did the DropShips begin to descend through the atmosphere, landing well outside the reach of the fire-bases.

Five Clusters of Hellion OmniMech formed up and advanced as one upon the defenders of the starport. But unlike the Falcons or the Vipers or the Jaguars, the Hellions did not blindly charge ahead; no, they circled at extreme range and picked away at the defenders, too far distant for the 10th’s weapons to reach them. But the 10th’s artillery reached out and shells began to fall among the Hellions—and in reply the fighters once again plunged into the planet’s atmosphere. Mostly heavy-weight designs, with a few faster mediums in support, the fighters swooped down and released six hundred Arrow IV air-to-ground missiles that plunged into the perimeter of the 2nd Battalion, 10th Donegal Combat Group—and on the heels of the massive explosions, the Hellion OmniMechs closed faster than anyone could have imagined possible. At the same time, hordes of small craft dived down from orbit and two hundred and Elemental infantry para-dropped directly into the center of the compound.

*****************************************************************

They’re swarming all over us, Marshall! They aren’t fighting like the Clans should! They are teaming up and tearing my ‘Mechs and tanks to pieces! Behind you Jim!” the radio crackled with the thunder of a heavy autocannon, and then there was a scream . . . and then only static.

She swallowed. She was only thirty-nine years old, and Aunt Nondie—well, a third cousin twice removed—had given her this command just four months ago. She licked her dry lips and changed the radio frequencies. “Bob, I need you to hit them at the star-port—now, if we are going to save anything. I am ordering the 1st battalion to roll out as well.”

Negative, Marshall! Stick to the plan—we’ve got to bleed them!

“My men are dying, Colonel!”

Your men are already dead, Marshall. We can’t get there in time to save them, and the 1st will get cut to ribbons outside of the defenses! Hold your position!

“Damn you, Colonel Ohell! Hit them now!”

But there was no reply from the radio. Sarah frowned and she turned to her staff, “What’s going on?”

“Marshall—we are being jammed!” one yelled, as the crack and whine of the Clan’s anti-personnel gauss rifles began to thunder outside, amidst the explosions of SRMs and the screams of her HQ security detachment.

*****************************************************************

Another of Ohell’s ‘Mechs exploded as it ate four converging ER PPC bolts and ER Large Laser beams. For two and a half hours now, Robert had pulled back, leaving the bulk of the 10th Donegal behind as he tried to evade the Hellions and make it to his DropShips—but now he was surrounded. He twisted his Stalker to one side and locked his missile launchers on another of the distant ‘Mechs; he squeezed the trigger and twenty missiles shot away; only a dozen hit however. And his computer’s calm voice whispered into his ears, “LRM magazine depleted.”

Half of his ‘Mechs littered the line of his march behind him—and every last one remaining was damaged, some critically. But still the Hellions didn’t close in, they circled at range, with that impossible speed, and they bled him out one cut at a time.

“Colonel,” Captain Edward Bowen spoke up. Bowen was the senior officer left in the entire regiment, other than Robert. “The DropShips report that they are under attack—and now I have lost their transmission.”

Robert Ohell looked up at the faint plumes of smoke in the distance and his heart sank. “Enough of this running, Star Guards. Let’s show these scum how the 42nd Striker chooses to go out. CHARGE!” he yelled and he pushed the Stalker forward into a run.

But the Hellions simply gave way and continued to gnaw his command to death—Robert Ohell was fortunate enough not to see it however, for a Hellion Gauss slug slammed into his cockpit and he never again saw anything.

*****************************************************************

Your command are the only survivors to date, Colonel Dane,” the voice of the Hellion Khan came over the radio of the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion of the 10th Donegal. “I can crush you as easily as I did you fellows—or you recognize the folly of your continued fighting and lay down your arms. In honor of the courage of your comrades, we will treat you as we treat captured Clan Warriors, instead of consigning you to the laborer class.

“Go to hell,” spat Colonel William Dane.

I take it that is a no? Colonel Dane, there are no civilian population centers within your perimeter; there is nothing preventing me from wiping you out without suffering a single casualty in response. You do know I have WarShips in orbit, quiaff?

“You do that and you will be hung for War Crimes!”

The victors write history, Colonel Dane. We slaughter no civilians, nor do we hide behind their skirts like cowards. Your battalion is a legitimate military target. I offer you one last opportunity to spare your Warriors their lives.

Dane began to answer, but the weeping of his communication officer—newly married just three months ago, made him stop. A tear leaked down his own cheek. And he tried the raise the radio microphone once, and then twice; finally he managed to lift it. “Damn you. We accept your terms.”

I will give you sixty minutes to lay down arms and march out, Colonel Dane. Do not make me obliterate those mining facilities.

And the radio transmission ended. Dane pulled himself up straight. “Burn the code books—purge the database. And tell the troops to stack arms and form up to surrender.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
CJWS Turkina’s Pride, inbound to orbit
Morges, Lyran Commonwealth
November 1, 3043


“Our opponents are concentrated here, on the industrialized continent of Windhoven,” Timur Malthus said as he aimed the point at the land mass closest to the equator on the frigid world of Morges. “It is cold, wet, and thoroughly miserable, with nearly constant rain and lightning storms. Thanks to the crew of the corvette Kerensky’s Blues and their signal intercept equipment, we know what units are awaiting us on the surface. Our opponents today will be the 20th Arcturan Guards Regimental Combat Team, the 23rd Arcturan Guards Regiment, the three mercenary regiments of the Blue Star Irregulars, and two mercenary battalions of the Dioscuri. This is in addition to nearly two score regiments of conventional infantry and armor.” Timur paused and he folded his hands behind his back. “The Blue Star Irregulars trace their founding to the Star League: they claim their founders were recipients of the Blue Star of Kerensky—and they have the 1894th Light Horse Regiment in their ranks.”

Mutters broke out among the dozen assembled Galaxy and Cluster commanders, and Timur nodded slowly. “Another of their regiments is the 21st Rim Worlds, a unit that defected from Stefan Amaris’s army to join the SLDF during the Campaign to reclaim the Hegemony and the Liberation of Terra. These regiments may prove themselves honorable foes. They may not; they are, after all, mercenary sell-swords. However, we will extend to the Blue Star Irregulars the courtesy of zellbrigen; as for the rest,” Timur shrugged, “deal with them as you see fit.”

The saKhan broke off as he spotted Elias Crichell making his way forward. “Attention on deck!” he snapped, and all of the Falcons present instantly stood.

“Today is a great day, my Falcons,” said Crichell as he mounted the stage. “On Deia, Galaxy Commander Vandervahn Chistu is leading the Gyrfalcon and Peregrine Galaxies to victory; I expect the Jade Falcon and Goshawk Galaxies to do better! Quiaff!”

“Aff!”

“saKhan Malthus with the Turkina Keshik will have tactical control over this operation; I will remain at the Clan forward command post to coordinate actions between Deia and Morges. You have all been assigned your Drop-zones: we reach orbit in thirty-four minutes, so get to your ships. Victory, Falcons!”

“VICTORY!” The assembled officers shouted and then raced through the corridors of the battlecruiser to board small craft heading back to their DropShips. All but Timur Malthus, who remained behind. Elias frowned.

“Was there something else, saKhan?”

Timur bowed his head slightly. “My Khan, you have yet to participate in a single battle since this invasion began—no other Khan or even the ilKhan can make such a claim. Is it wise for you to remain behind . . . again? There will be talk of your . . . aversion to risk.”

The frown on Elias Crichell’s face deepened and he stepped close against the chest of the younger Falcon. “You leave the control of this Clan to me, Malthus—and I will allow you free reign to slaughter these free-birth as you wish; challenge me and you will find there are many who desire your position. Vandervahn Chistu not least among them. Be careful that he does not perform better than you, or I might well have to listen to my Falcons when they call for your head.”

Timur’s eyes flashed with anger and he started to reply, but the Khan cut him off. “NOT another word, saKhan Malthus!” Elias thundered. “I gave you your rank—and I can take it from you, along with your life. Now go, and pray that I forget this conversation.”

Still fuming the Falcon saKhan bit his lip and he turned to leave. “And Timur? I will be watching the conduct of your battles below closely—there are rumors that you have not been behaving as a proper Falcon recently. Tread lightly, saKhan.”

*****************************************************************

Four hours later, Timur Malthus entered the tent hurriedly erected for his august presence. The 23rd Arcturan Guards had put up a tenacious defense, but led by the Turkina Keshik, the Jade Falcon Galaxy had sent them running—now the mercenaries were approaching, even as the Goshawk Galaxy held the 20th Arcturan and their lesser regiments at bay.

The saKhan accepted with grace the proffered canteen that one of the Techs held out and he took a deep swallow of the cold water within. He handed it back and looked down on the map and nodded. Then he traced line back to a single icon in his rear—an icon marked with the symbol for the Clans Field HQ.

Timur smiled and he extracted a folded piece of paper from his cooling suit. “Let us treat these Blue Star Irregulars as if they were Clan. Establish contact with them, and inform them of our current strength and location—all of our units locations and strength on that sheet. In the meantime,” he turned to face his Cluster commanders, “it is time for the Dioscuri to die. Star Colonel Folkner, I want the Falcon Guards to hammer them, to hound them, to annihilate them. The remainder of Alpha and the Turkina Keshik will redeploy to here,” he said tapping the map.

“Sir?” asked Star Colonel Marthe Pryde, the young commander of the 89th Falcon Striker Cluster. “That will open a gap fifteen kilometers wide between our forces and those of Zeta Galaxy; could not the Blue Star Irregulars attempt to use that space in an effort to drive us even further apart?”

Timur smiled. “If they do, they are in a rude awakening. With the Turkina Keshik here,” he tapped a section of the mapboard, “the 12th Regulars here,” another section, “your Strikers here,” yet another section tapped, “and the 3rd and 9th Talon Clusters here and here, what will happen if the Blue Star Irregulars attempt that?”

Marthe inhaled. “All five of the Clusters can catch them in the flank as they move through—and they cannot evade against your higher speed,” she nodded to herself. “Their lead elements might well punch through—and if they do there is nothing standing between them and the Khan.”

“War is a matter of gambling, Star Colonel Pryde. And I think this time, we will have gambled successfully. If not, our Khan is a Warrior and he as an Honor Guard to defend him as well. He knows and has chosen to accept the risk, I might add. If the Blue Star prove dishonorable," Timur smiled, "and refuse to meet us in single combat, he will, of his own violation and command, serve as bait. Once we finish dealing with the Blue Star Irregulars—and Star Colonel Folkner and the Falcon Guard finish off the Dioscuri, we will then wheel en masse and flank the conventional regiments bolstering the defenses of the 20th Arcturan in the foothills here.” And once again the finger tapped the map.

“Questions?” None of the Cluster commanders said a word, and Timur nodded. “Then get your commands moving,” he said, dismissing the officers and walked over to the comm tech. “Have they replied?”

“saKhan, forgive me, but I have not sent the message yet.”

“And why have you not?”

“saKhan, you honor our foes, but you have given them the location of the Khan’s headquarters—and told them that he is defended by just two points of Elementals and a Star of ‘Mechs!”

Timur smiled. “Send it, Tech. That is a direct order from the saKhan of the Clan.”

Trembling, the comm tech began the transmission, and Timur’s smile turned into a grin.

*****************************************************************

Elias Crichell looked up in surprise as Kael Pershaw’s misshapen body pushed past the honor guards at the entrance to his headquarters, and his surprise rapidly turned into a frown as he saw the distress on his old friend’s face. “Kael . . .”

“Evacuate now!” the Watch officer shouted. “Leave the equipment and run!”

He had reached the Khan and put one myomer hand on Elias’s arm and began pulling him towards the tent flap. Elias emerged out into the sunlight and he stopped. “What is going on?” he barked.

“Timur Malthus has made a mistake that not even a sibkin could make—he has split his forces and there is a full battalion of BattleMechs heading straight here! They will arrive in minutes, my Khan! We must go now! I have a DropShuttle waiting outside.”

Elias’s face paled and his head twisted towards the sound of autocannon fire from the pickets. No, Timur did not make a mistake; somehow he had engineered this. Damn him and his ambition. Kael was shouting, but Elias just stood there as two dozen aerospace fighters descended through the clouds, laser bolts emerging from their nose to strafe across the Falcon’s HQ.

*****************************************************************

“Jade Falcons!” Timur Malthus broadcast. “Khan Crichell has been killed by our opponents! Our Khan has fallen as he fought these dezgra surats alone! The Jade Falcon Galaxy will avenge him! FALCONS . . . FORWARD!”

Six Clusters of furious Warriors tore into the flanks of the strung-out columns of the Blue Star Irregulars, even as their lead battalion ripped apart the Clan’s Field Headquarters . . . and Timur Malthus smiled.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Khan’s Star, Golden Keshik
Tamar, Lyran Commonwealth
November 1, 3043


“Clever,” Ulric rumbled to himself as he topped the ridgeline that overlooked the Kelswa Fortress that protected the approaches to Tamar’s capital city. The broad plains around the Fortress would have allowed the Clan to reduce the city with ease, from outside of the range where Kelswa and his defenders could reply—but some enterprising young officer had apparently stocked hundreds of mortar teams amongst the infantry . . . and every one of them was firing a constant barrage of smoke shells, mixed with chaff and flares.

Not even the Clans could hit what they couldn’t see.

“How many troopers does he have, Natasha?” the Khan asked.

“The 26th Lyran Guard that are giving the Coyotes so much trouble on the far side of the valley, plus the Training Cadre from the Academy here, and two battalions of the Kelswa Guard, the latter two within the Fort itself.”

“That is all?”

Natasha snorted. “Hardly, but that is all that is here now—that we know of. Kelswa has been buying up mercenary contracts left and right—he could have another six or seven regiments in that old Fort. The 5th Crucis Lancers and 11th Avalon Hussars will be here by nightfall as well.”

“Options?”

Garth Radick cleared his throat and then spoke up. “The smoke blinds them as well as us. We will take casualties, but we press forward and eliminate this burr in our side before the Davion RCTs arrive.”

“It also forces us into their range, saKhan Radick,” snapped Natasha acerbically. “Don’t you think he’s mined the approaches until a ballet dancer couldn’t get through?”

“Mind your language, Star Colonel!” the saKhan barked. “Of course I considered that; which is why I think your 13th Wolf Guards should lead the assault. After all, half of them are free-births and the other half were on the verge of being sent to Solahma formations. After you clear us a path through the minefields, Beta will take the fortress before nightfall—I give you my word on that Khan Kerensky.”

Ulric nodded, but he noticed the expression on the Black Widow’s face. “Yes, Star Colonel Kerensky?”

“While some might agree that the saKhan’s plan has merit—or they would if they had the intelligence of two year old chimpanzee—I suggest we strip our Elementals from every Cluster on planet and the ships above, and use them as sappers. They are too lightweight to detonate the mines, and the defenders cannot see them to trigger the explosives remotely. Once lanes have been cleared, we move in—but after the sappers have infiltrated into the interior of the fortress.”

Garth snorted. “After they magically walk through the walls? You do not believe they shrouding their own walls in this smoke, do you?”

Natasha smiled. “It just so happens, I have an old map of the Kelswa Fortress—including their sewage system—which is large enough for two Elementals abreast. They can bypass the walls and pop up in the middle of the Fort; distracting the enemy while we make our approach.”

“And those tunnels are not guarded?”

“Of course they are! Which is why I have outfitted my Elemental Trinary with the old SLDF Nighthawk PA(L), with their full ECM and Stealth systems. My Elemental infantry in light power armor will go ahead and eliminate the guards on the tunnels, opening the way for your Elementals to open the breach—and then Alpha and Beta will destroy them utterly.”

The Wolf saKhan started to reply, but Ulric held up one hand. “Agreed, Star Colonel Kerensky. Pull the Elementals from Alpha, Beta, and the ships above—quickly. But Alpha Galaxy will make the assault. Garth,” he held up a second placating hand, “I will need Beta to hold back two furious and intact Regimental Combat Teams until this location is secure. Can I trust you to do that? Without Beta's Elementals, but with Alpha's aerospace assets?”

Garth’s jaw worked for a moment, but at last he said simply, “Aff, my Khan.”

“I will inform the Coyotes that they may stop playing with their prey and drive the 26th to destruction . . . in the meantime, let us get this ready to launch.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:12 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Interlude
November 3, 3043


Of course, not all went according to plan. On Deia, Vandervahn Chistu and the Jade Falcon’s Delta Galaxy were mauled by the 1st, 11th, and 15th Lyran Regulars, supported by House Davion’s 1st Argyle Lancers. To make matters worse, both Chistu and the commander of Vau Galaxy were killed in the fighting, and disputes between Cluster commanders over who was now in charge prevented the Falcons from stopping the Fed-Com troops from executing an organized withdrawal. Once in orbit, the survivors of the four Regiments scatted, leaving the single Falcon WarShip present unable to intercept and engage them all. Although the 11th Lyran was destroyed, the remaining regiments survived (in part) to fight another day.

On Parakoila, the Ravens met with their toughest fight to date—and perhaps a harbinger of things of come. Three independent aerospace fighter wings, supported by no fewer than thirty assault DropShips swarmed over the Raven JumpShips as they emerged in-system. While saKhan Damien Crow responded almost instantly, two entire Raven Clusters (the 4th Raven Wing and the 1st Raven Dragoons) were lost, along with their DropShips. The remaining three Clusters of the Swift Wing Galaxy proved insufficient to clear the surface of the defenders, and Khan McKenna was forced to reinforce his saKhan with elements of Beta Galaxy—despite a sudden surge in terrorist activities all through the Horse/Raven Occupation Zone.

The Wolves and Coyotes won on Tamar, but Garth Radick died holding back a ferocious assault by the Davion RCTs, and Beta Galaxy suffered serious losses. Perhaps luckily, Tamar was the only seriously contested world for the Wolves and Coyotes in Wave 3; the remainder fell with scarcely a fight.

The Bears and Scorpions had the single easiest and least costly Wave of all of the Clans. Hitting only four worlds, opposition was encountered only on Gunzburg and Vorarlberg, but the Bears easily swept aside the defenders. On Memmingen, the planetary governor—with no troops of the KungsArmee and a militia just four companies strong—answered the batchall with a challenge for a game of beach volleyball. The competition turned into a major attraction, complete with a fair, and the governor handed control over to saKhan Posavatz when the team of Scorpions from the Heartvenom Cluster handily won. Posavatz surprised many, however, when he appointed the same governor as the Clan’s interim ruler—and Memmingen quickly became part of the Clan fold.

Radstadt should have been a bitter fight for the Adders and Cobras, but the KungsArmee had completely collapsed, leaving the planet with only militia and a single Capellan Regiment (the Blackwind Lancers) for defenders. Kaesong and Thessalonika were much more difficult; the Draconis defenders—once again, mostly militia with a handful of ‘Mech companies and battalions in support—fought to the last man, woman, and child. Insurgents hidden among the civilian population started a terror campaign, the day that the last organized military force was defeated, and slowly the Adder and Cobra garrisons were being bled.

Already suffering from the shame of being the only Clan to have lost a WarShip in the invasion (the destroyer Rage being the victim of a kamikaze strike at Schuyler two months earlier), the small Mandrill Kindraa’s, many of which failed to coordinate and cooperate, found themselves strained to the breaking point. There were too many casualties against the fanatical defenders, and nowhere nearly enough garrison forces to hold the worlds that the Mandrills had conquered. Where some Clans in Wave III refused to commit forces in less than Galaxy strength, the Mandrills were forced to rely on single Clusters to take their objectives. Without the Blood Spirits aid and assistance, they would have failed, but even with the help of their partners, the Mandrill garrisons were woefully thin, and their brutal methods of dealing with insurgents made for a volatile situation.

On Outer Volta and Juazeiro, the Nova Cats pounced; relying upon their superior technology, training, and numbers to overcome stiff resistance before moving on to secure Caripare. The Jaguars fought fiercely for Teniente and Irece (wrecking the LAM factories there utterly), but both of those worlds were defended by far less troops than Brandon Howell had feared—and the subsequent interrogations told him why.

Pesht was heavily fortified, with no fewer than eleven DCMS BattleMech Regiments, thirty regiments of armor and infantry, and six aerospace fighter wings (in that odd Combine 36-fighter wing that they flew). Khan Howell made certain that his forces finished the pacification of Irece and Teniente, and then resupply and received the first few trickles of replacements coming from the homeworlds. And then he jumped three full Galaxies of Jaguars, supported by a Galaxy of Nova Cats, into what would become known as the Cauldron of Pesht.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:37 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Here are a few of my rambling thoughts:

Grand Army of the Inner Sphere (~55 Regiments):

Capellans (5): Ariana Grenadiers; 1st Confederation Reserve Cavalry; 1st St. Ives Lancers; Justina's Cuirassiers; 1st Kearny Highlanders

Free Worlds (4): 1st Free World Guards; 1st Marik Militia; 6th Marik Militia; 12th Atrean Dragoons

Lyrans (6): 20th Arcturan Guards RCT; 3rd Donegal Guards RCT; 11th Lyran Guards; 15th Lyran Guards RCT; 1st Lyran Regulars; 4th Skye Rangers RCT

Rasalhague (3): 1st Drakon; 1st Kavalleri; 3rd Freemen

Kurita (10): 1st Genyosha; 2nd Genyosha; Ryuken (5 Regiments); 1st Night Stalkers; 2nd Night Stalkers; 3rd Prosperina Hussars

Davion (8): 4th Davion Guards RCT; Davion Heavy Guards RCT; 3rd Crucis Lancers RCT; 7th Crucis Lancers RCT; 1st New Ivaarsen Chasseurs RCT; 6th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT; 1st Kestrel Grenadiers RCT; 1st Kathil Uhlans RCT

ComStar (~6): 1st Army; 2nd Army

Mercenary (~13): Wolf's Dragoons (3+ Regiments); Eridani Light Horse (2 Regiments); 12th Vegan Rangers (4 Regiments); 1st Kell Hounds; Hell's Black Aces; St. Cyr Heavy Assault Group

The Grand Army is massing on Tukayyid, as loyal readers know. The Grand Army also has 22 WarShips.


Units Destroyed in Waves I-III:

Capellans (3): Blackwind Lancers, Kingston’s Legionnaires; 4th Confederation Reserve Cavalry

Free World (4): 4th Brigade (Fusiliers of Oriente); 4th Marik Militia; 6th Orloff Grenadiers; 4th Regulan Hussars

Lyrans (19): 8th Arcturan Guards RCT; 19th Arcturan Guards; 23rd Arcturan Guards; 24th Arcturan Guards RCT; 4th Donegal Guards RCT; 5th Donegal Guards RCT; 10th Donegal Guards RCT; 12th Donegal Guards RCT; 13th Donegal Guards; 5th Lyran Guards RCT; 13th Lyran Guards RCT; 26th Lyran Guards RCT; 32nd Lyran Guards RCT; 7th Lyran Regulars; 8th Lyran Regulars; 9th Lyran Regulars; 11th Lyran Regulars; 22nd Skye Rangers; Winfield’s Brigade

Rasalhague (13): 2nd Drakon; 3rd Drakon; 4th Drakon; 1st Freemen; 2nd Freemen; 1st Hussars; 2nd Hussars; 3rd Hussars; 2nd Kavalleri; 3rd Kavalleri; 4th Kavalleri; Gunzburg Eagles; 1st Tyr Assault Regiment

Kurita (27): 2nd Alshain Regulars, 3rd Alshain Regulars, 5th Alshain Regulars; 7th Alshain Regulars; 10th Alshain Regulars; 11th Alshain Regulars, 2nd Amphigean Light Assault Group; 4th Arkab Legion; 9th Benjamin Regulars; 40th Dieron Regulars; 41st Dieron Regulars; 19th Galedon Regulars; 3rd Ghost Regiment; 7th Ghost Regiment; 8th Ghost Regiment; 12th Ghost Regiment; 11th Legion of Vega; 14th Legion of Vega; 4th Pesht Regulars; 6th Pesht Regulars; 9th Pesht Regulars ; 10th Pesht Regulars; 11th Pesht Regulars; 4th Prosperina Hussars; 1st Shin Legion; 2nd Shin Legion; 9th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre

Fed-Com (7): 3rd FedCom RCT; 6th FedCom RCT; 8th FedCom RCT; Hot Springs TMM; Laurent Tamar TMM; Twycross TMM; Wotan TMM

Davion (16): 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry (AFFS); 11th Avalon Hussars RCT; 22nd Avalon Hussars RCT; 33rd Avalon Hussars RCT; 39th Avalon Hussars RCT; 41st Avalon Hussars RCT; 42nd Avalon Hussars RCT (AFFS); 1st Ceti Hussars; 2nd Chisholm’s Raiders RCT; 5th Crucis Lancers RCT; 8th Crucis Lancers RCT; 5th Davion Guards RCT; 12th Deneb Light Cavalry; 15th Deneb Light Cavalry; 1st Robinson Rangers; 8th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT

Mercenaries (33): Narhal's Raiders (2 Regiments); Lexington Combat Group (180th Dragoon Group; 32nd Recon Group); 2nd Regiment (12th Star Guards); 7th Regiment (12th Star Guards); 151st Light Horse (Eridani Light Horse); Dioscuri; Blue Star Irregulars (3 regiments); plus 22 unnamed mercenary regiments

OMG! One hundred and twenty-two (122) Regiments and RCTs lost to date. A quarter of them mercenary. This is higher than canon because of the Clans willingness in this AU to target JumpShips and strand the defenders, not allowing them to Jump away and live to fight another day.


Survivors: Hansen's Roughriders; 21st Centauri Lancers; Lexington Combat Group (241st Battle Group); 1st Argyle Lancers; 2nd Ceti Hussars; 3rd Ceti Hussars; 4th Deneb Light Cavalry; 5th Deneb Light Cavalry*; 8th Deneb Light Cavalry*; 10th Deneb Light Cavalry*; 1st Lyran Regulars*; 15th Lyran Regulars*; Legion of the Rising Sun; 1st Regiment (12th Star Guards)*; 3rd Regiment (12th Star Guards); Grey Death Legion*; 1st Screaming Eagles*; 2nd Screaming Eagles*; 21st Striker (Eridani Light Horse)*; 71st Light Horse (Eridani Light Horse)*

These are units that faced the Clans and survived. Those marked with an Asterisk (*) took losses of 50% or higher.


Clans

At the conclusion of Wave III, the Clans are hurting. They are all out replacements, so lost without you . . . sorry. Got Air Supply stuck in my head today, for some reason. While they retain all of their units with which they began the invasion (other than those second-line Clusters destroyed in Chainelaine), some are woefully understength at the end of Wave III. Overall, the Clans are probably hovering at around 80% of their book strength right now; with some Clans better off and others (Fire Mandrills, Steel Vipers, and Jaguars) worse. And except for those reserves close by (a Shark Galaxy, a Falcon Galaxy, two Bear Galaxies, and two Scorpion Galaxies), it will be at least three months before new replacement Warriors arrive.

So, like Jar-Jar says: OUCH-TIME!

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
that opens a possible alternate history line: seing the value of the inner sphere fighters, their honor and courage, some wardens start to say that the united efforts of the inner sphere wich culminates in the foundation of a new starleague are exactly what the clans could best hope for: the reinstitution of the starleague, not as hoped by the clans but by the IS itself.
the crusaders see that the IS is a harder nut to crack than they had anticipated and settle for a recreation of the SL with the clan warrior caste as the core of the new SLDF. not litterally conquering terra, but instead winning terra as a result of a compromise- with the clan warriors together with the comstar army as the strong arm of the SLDF wich is strong enough to control the noble houses if need be. the noble houses however are bled well enough not to hope to take the starleague for themselves, and only see action in border conflicts between the houses.
remaining questions: who rules the SL? is a heir found? election by the nobles? election by population? a "compromise candidate"?(i think of the rumors about the election of john-paul II, it is been said that the italian kardinals could not agree on a candidate, and had to find a compromise: wojtila)this might be the head of a less mighty house or even perifery state, or a clan-khan wich has been showing a conduct the inner sphere houses could agree upon. or someone from comstar, without a family to back him, apearing weak....
second question: what happens with the clan civilians?

_________________
typos and spelling-mistakes are property of the finder. english is not my mother-tongue.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:29 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
[looks to the left] :wink: [looks to the right] :D

[whispers]Can you say Jaime Wolf, First Lord of the Restored Star League?[/whispers]

:o

:shocked:

:evil:

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:05 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Royal Palace, The Triad, Tharkad City
Tharkad, Lyran Commonwealth, the Federated Commonwealth
November 10, 3043


“Morgan!” Melissa said with a smile as she recognized the face on the other end of the HPG connection, but then her smile faded at the somber look on the face of the Marshall of the Federated Commonwealth. “What is so urgent, you requested a real-time link?”

“Archon Steiner-Davion,” the burly man said with a bow. “We have a problem.”

Melissa felt a chill run through her, but she kept her face carefully neutral. “Perhaps we can find a solution.”

“I hope we can, Your Majesty. General of the Armies Nondi Steiner has issued a warning order to all Lyran Regiments and Regimental Combat Teams; they are to prepare to withdraw from their current defensive positions and assemble at Santana.”

“Oh, my God,” whispered the Archon. “Have you rescinded the order?”

“I have, and she contacted me directly—she is in command of the Lyran State Forces, and they have bled enough, she told me. Until Wolf moves his Grand Army into action, 'she will not allow a Davion appointee to spill another drop of Lyran blood'. And that is close to a direct quote,” Morgan looked down, and then he lifted his face again. “Melissa, I can remove her—I have the authority. But there is a difference between authority and ability. If I sack her, even for cause . . .”

“I understand, Morgan,” Melissa said quietly. “Let me talk to her.”

“Of course, Archon,” he said with a second bow. “We need those troops, manning the lines—the Clans broke through our first line of defense, and without them we have no prayer of holding on the Kandersteg-Pandora-La Grave line.”

“You will have them, Marshal Hasek-Davion. You have my word on it.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty,” Morgan paused and he nodded. “The casualty lists have been grim, of late. But we are bleeding them, and the end is in sight. We just have to have the will to keep on fighting a little while longer.”

Melissa nodded. “Is there anything else you need at Pandora, Marshal?”

“No, Your Majesty.”

“I will speak with her at once, then,” Melissa nodded to the ComStar tech who ended the transmission. And she tapped her fingernails against the marble topped desk for several minutes before turning to her assistant. “Inform Aunt Nondie I need to speak with her immediately—and request Leutnant-General Malvin to join us as well.”

*****************************************************************

“You wanted to see me, Archon Melissa?” the sour-faced woman asked as she entered the Archon’s spacious office.

“Yes, Aunt Nondie. I did,” Melissa said as she slowly drummed her nails against the desktop. “Rescind this order you passed to the LCAF withdrawing them from Morgan’s defensive line.”

Nondi snorted. “Morgan and Hanse are using the LCAF, Melissa! They are gutting our most loyal formations so that they can replace them with Davion sympathizers. Perhaps you do not see this, but I do! Your mother appointed me as General of the Armies; you confirmed that appointment. I do not answer to a lap dog of Hanse Davion!”

“Are you referring to me or Marshal Hasek-Davion?” Melissa asked coolly.

The old woman jerked. “Not you, Archon. I would never say that about you—but Hanse has convinced you of the ‘wisdom’ of his strategy, hasn't he? He will destroy your troops until there is no one left loyal to you. Let his troops bleed this enemy, while Lyran soldiers prepare for a counter-offensive that will sweep them away!”

Now the tapping on the desk came to a halt, and Melissa glared at her aunt—Katrina’s sister. “Aunt Nondie, I suggest that you take a leave of absence—you are in need of rest.”

“No, girl. I am as fit as a horse, and I will protect your interests as long as I wear this uniform.”

Melissa sighed. “Don’t make me do this, Aunt Nondie.”

“Blood is thicker than water, girl—Katrina taught you that. And your husband and his stooges have spilt far too much Lyran blood.”

Melissa stood, and if her heart was breaking, none could see it in the set stone of her face. “General of the Armies Nondi Steiner—I hereby revoke your commission in the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces. I strip from you all rank and privileges exceeding those of a Colonel and order that you immediately be discharged from Our service—in dishonor. You are then to stand trial by public courts-martial for your failure in your duty and your treason against the Commonwealth.”

Christopher Malvin, the commander of the Royal Guards Brigade winced and Nondi just stared at her niece in horror. “Mel-. . .”

Silence. OR, in lieu of that, you can immediately resign your commission in light of issues with your health; in which case, we will speak no more of this, and I shall not break you in public, General Steiner,” Melissa said carefully and calmly. “You will retire, and remove yourself to the estates I am awarding you on Poulsbo, never again to leave that world without my express permission—or I will have you publically tried for treason. And following that trial's conclusion, I will see you hung by the neck until dead in the Courtyard of the Triad.”

No one spoke. “Decide now, General Steiner. But either way, you are no longer my Aunt—you are no longer part of my family.”

Nondi’s knees buckled and her shoulders sagged. “I-I’ll resign,” she whispered.

Melissa slid a piece of paper across her desk. “Your letter of resignation, General Steiner. Sign.”

And Nondi did.

Melissa stood and she took the letter and read it, before handing it to a servant. “See that this is filed with the Estates-General immediately,” she ordered. “Leutnant-General Malvin, escort this woman from my presence and place her aboard the first DropShip departing Tharkad. You are dismissed.”

And without another look at her mother’s sister, Melissa sat back down at her desk and took the next piece of paper from her inbox.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:07 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Jump Point Pesht-4
Pesht, Draconis Combine
November 11, 3043


Nine massive vessels emerged from Jump spaced out around the proximity point between Pesht and its airless moon. The invaders included two Black Lion-class battle cruisers, a Congress-class frigate, three Lola III-class destroyers, an Essex-class destroyer, and a pair of York-class carriers, but other than unmanned sensor platforms, the jump point was undefended. The ships gathered in formation, launching fourteen Death Dancer-class assault DropShips and two hundred and ten OmniFighters that assumed station on the perimeter.

The Clan Fleet waited until their parasites fully deployed, but no further ships arrived and then they began to accelerate—not towards the planet, but instead to the moon. General Jinjiro Nishizawa, the Combine’s commander of the aerospace forces assigned to Pesht, realized quickly that the Clans knew of his hidden base, and he began launching fighters and assault DropShips of his own. Two hundred and sixteen fighters, supported by thirty-four Avenger- and Achilles-class vessels, lifted off from the surface and moved to engage their foes.

The Clan fighter and DropShip screen merged with those of the Dragon, and the blackness of space was lit by scores of explosions. Supporting the fighters, the WarShips fired salvo after salvo of nimble capital missiles into the furball, even as the Sabres, Sholagars, and Shilones tried to cut a path for the heavy assault ships and Slayers. In numbers, the fighter pilots were evenly matched, and the close knife-fighting ranges which the high-speed and acceleration possessed by the nimble little craft allowed largely negated the range advantage possessed by the Clans—it did little against their superior firepower, but in close both sides began to ravage each other with beams, shells, and missiles.

Thirty-six Slayers broke through the screen and bored down on the waiting WarShips, but now the combined missile fire of all nine Clan vessels concentrated against the strike squadron, while their main batteries turned on the larger and more easily targeted assault ships trailing behind.

The fight was short, vicious, and utterly unforgiving—despite suffering heavy damage to the destroyer Sabre Cat, the Clans emerged victorious as the final Achilles died sixty kilometers from the WarShips; only forty-two Combine fighters survived the exchange, trying to husband the last of their fuel until they could make it back to the planet. The Clans too suffered heavily, with fifty-one fighters returning to their bays—along with a mere two Death Dancers.

The Jaguars and Nova Cats continued on the moon, and from orbit, their WarShips annihilated the bases from which General Nishizawa had launched his strike; only then did they return to the jump point and summon the JumpShips bearing the Clan’s real touman began to emerge.

No sooner than the first pair of JumpShips emerged than the challenge arrived from Pesht itself. General Akira Kurita—a distant cousin of the Coordinator—was in command, and he offered the location where he would defend: Andrassy, the capital of Pesht and a city that more than six million civilians called home.

Brandon Howell, Khan of the Jaguars did not bother to reply, but consulted his maps and nodded his appreciation for Kurita’s strategy. Andrassy was built on an island some twenty-one kilometers in length and nearly four wide. Sprawling suburbs spread out from the island on both the north and south banks of the river, but Kurita had indicated that the heavily urbanized island itself was his chosen location.

The Fleet moved into orbit, and twenty full Clusters of Jaguars and Nova Cats dropped onto the surface—a safe distance away from the city, while the WarShips englobed the planet with orders to kill any Combine DropShip attempting to flee.

Many within the inner circle of Brandon Howell and Sarah Weaver (the Jaguar saKhan) argued that the Jaguars should simply destroy the city from orbit—but Howell knew well the ilKhan’s orders, and he believed that here, on Pesht, his Jaguars would show their true worth.

What Khan Howell did not realize, however, was that via a herculean effort, General Kurita had evacuated the entire civilian population of Andrassy Island—and he had transformed that densely packed urban area with its skyscrapers and soaring towers into a killing field for his eleven ‘Mech regiments, fourteen armored regiments, and sixteen regiments of fanatical infantry troopers.

And so it was, that as the Jaguars began to encircle the island and try to find a beachhead in what his troops had dubbed the Cauldron, General Akira Kurita smiled.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:47 pm 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 759
Location: Hope Mills, NC
Cant wait to see this battle! :rotate:

_________________
Khan John Edwards
Trueborn Warrior

Pain heals, Chicks dig scars but GLORY lasts forever!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
dozens of square kilometres of modified city-scape. with enough time and materiel and skill in doing the modifications attacking such a site is like dropping into a minefield, just scales worse.

from the mech equivalent of pungi(sp?)sticks to buildings designed to collapse onto unsuspecting mechs. from deliberatly sensor-jamming constructions to jamming stations, hidden explosives to tanks of fuel... piles of sand on a "building site" that turn out to be thermite, and the cranes on same site modified to grab and throw over mechs...(idea of sokrates, only he used it against roman galleys) and then i would use oil barrels filled with explosives, shaped as a hollow charge, dug in everywhere and also cast into seemingly solid concrete walls.

and every spot of the city measured precisely, so the artillery can fire at any oponent who happens to be at a measured mark.

another interesting idea is the ancient invention of the "fugasse" where tons of rock lie in a sloped trench, on a load of explosives that would sent that rocks raining at the oponents like a mechsized claymore-mine. again: with enough time and materiel and skill, and of course creativity...

ps: its an island, possibly it could be flooded. mechs are watertight but current can be strong...

_________________
typos and spelling-mistakes are property of the finder. english is not my mother-tongue.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:56 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Andrassy Island, Andrassy
Pesht, Draconis Combine
November 11, 3043


Three full Galaxies of Jaguars landed to the south of the city; the shorter northern coastline was occupied by the lone Nova Cat Galaxy. Captured maps showed that the river section to the north was relatively deep, with a muddy bottom—but three bridges connected the island to the mainland here. The southern shore was wide, but fairly shallow and featured a bottom of rock and claw—strong enough to support the Jaguar OmniMechs . . . perhaps. Seven bridges crossed the river on this side, but Khans Howell and West were well aware that these bridges were bound to be sited in by the defenders—and possibly mined.

Still, the first actions were at those bridges, where Stars of combat engineer trained Elementals carefully crossed, searching for hidden explosives while engaging the infantry pillboxes and strongpoint’s the Combine had built. For six hours, the bulk of the Jaguars and Cats waited while a vicious close-quarters battle was being waged on—and beneath—the bridges.

Howell and West, having suspended zellbrigen each landed one of their Provisional Garrison Clusters—equipped with artillery vehicles; the smoke rounds from these third-line Warriors provided the Elementals with cover as they fought the fanatical Kurita infantry and disarmed explosive charges.

In the meantime, Khan Howell ordered another Trinary of Elementals outfitted with UMU (underwater maneuvering units) in place of their SRM launchers; a small laser replacing their AP Gauss Rifle. Assigned to search the bottom of the river for surprises, these nautical Elementals discovered that the riverbed had been liberally sewn with mines, covering nearly every possible approach . . . save one.

One section of the southern arm of the river shallowed to the point where the current was too much for the mines to remain embedded in the floor; that same current was hazardous to OmniMechs, but the risks were deemed as acceptable. Still, Khan Howell was not wholly convinced that the clear lane had not been planned by defenders of Pesht.

Low-level recon flights by fighters outfitted with Active Probes revealed the interlocked bunkers that covered that section of the river front, and Howell knew that his opponent was waiting for him to discover the ‘neglected’ sector and charge across. As night fell on the first day of the Battle of Pesht, Howell prepared to make his move.

A massive barrage of smoke rounds concealed the southern shore from the Andrassy, just as the sun dipped below the horizon—meanwhile, Trinarys of light and medium-weight OmniMechs began to storm across the bridges cleared by the engineer Elementals. Preplanned artillery barrages showed down on the bridges—but the move had been only a feint.

Alpha and Beta Galaxy moved into the open stretch of the river void of mines under the coverage of the smoke screen and gingerly made their way across; just before they emerged from the water, however, the combined aerospace fighters of the Jaguars streaked by overhead, releasing tons of bombs upon the heads of the defenders dug in on the island. Reeling from the incredible blow, the Kurita defenders were not prepared to contest the beachhead with the elite OmniMechs and Elementals of Alpha and Beta Galaxy where they emerged from the water.

Flares of explosions and the staccato bursts of tracer fire lit the night, as searing flashes of lasers and PPC bolts reached out to hit the attackers and defenders alike. The defending infantry and tanks fought to the last man, but they were unable to repel the Jaguars as Khan Howell secured a narrow strip of land and one of the city’s parks.

Simultaneously, two Clusters of Delta Galaxy loaded up in their DropShips and still under the cover of the dense smoke screen, they hovered across the river to emerge in sight of the astonished defenders—‘Mech and Elementals jumped from heights of just fifty and one hundred meters, even as the DropShips absorbed impact after impact from the defenders of the southern bridgeheads. The Cloud Rangers lived up to their name as the 4th and 214th Jaguar Dragoons landed on the island and held their salient until the remainder of Delta could rush across the bridges—against whom the defending fire had suddenly lessened—to reinforce them.

Throughout the night, intense firefights raged up and down the boulevards and avenues of Andrassy City as the Jaguars pushed deeper in to the island in an effort to link up. No quarter was given or asked for—by either side; and the rules of war quickly fell to the wayside as well. Soon enough, neither side had was able to summon air support, as the dueling fighters clashed in the night sky above, and the Jaguars rain of artillery smoke shells was replaced with laser-guided homing munitions and cluster rockets called in blindly.

By dawn, Andrassy was covered in thick cloud of smoke and ash from the burning and collapsed buildings, and the Jaguars had bulled their way through a third of the city—all three Jaguar Galaxies having linked up in the night. Both sides were utterly exhausted by thirteen hours of nearly constant conflict—but Brandon Howell had brought his DropShips across the river and rotated units back throughout the night to rearm, sometimes to exchange pod configurations before heading back into the fray. He would not make the mistakes Showers and Osis had made in the past of not having enough supplies close at hand.

General Kurita was bleeding the Jaguars for each square meter of ground that they gained, but the causalities were far from one-sided: over half of his own ‘Mechs were light-weight Panthers and Jenners; no match for the heavy and assault Ebon Jaguars, Warhawks, and Dire Wolfs that steadily advanced meter by meter. Still, the close-quarters combat was bleeding the Jaguars for every block they took; one enterprising DCMS officer flooded a portion of the city’s sewer system with natural gas—the resulting explosion shattered the 225th Battle Cluster and utterly destroyed two blocks of skyscrapers.

In response, the Congress-class frigate Snow Leopard opened fire from orbit and tore the heart out of two blocks still in the hands of the Combine. Khan Howell contacted General Kurita by radio and informed him that the bombardment was in retaliation of the actions of the Draconis officer who fired the gas mains—he vowed to reply in kind to any further such use of WMD as well.

Halfway through the morning, the exhausted Combine pilots—all seventy-three of them—climbed back into their cockpits as the Nova Cats on the north shore launched their assault. One hundred carefully husbanded Cat pilots—in undamaged OmniFighters and rested—met them in the sky; thirty minutes later, the Combine had no air cover remaining. The sixty-four Cat survivors returned to base and refueled and rearmed; then they returned in company of the one hundred and six surviving Jaguars to support the Nova Cat river crossing.

Throughout the night, the Cats had slowly infiltrated Elementals across the river—losing five percent of their number in the process; beset by the massive aerial attack and the sudden appearance of the Elemental infantry, Khan West managed to take two of the three bridges by storm. The third had not been completely cleared by the Elemental engineers during the night; they had missed one demolition charge in the center span. And the bunker which controlled that demolition survived both the air attack and the battle-armored infantry assault.

The explosive collapse of the bridge took with it two-third of the 489th Assault Cluster and the Vision Keshik—Khan West assumed command of Alpha Galaxy from the Nova Cat Keshik, which safely crossed one of the other two bridges.

Caught between two fires, the Kurita perimeter slowly shrank, but the combat raged within narrow streets hemmed in by the towering buildings. The costs of fighting within the Cauldron doubled, and then doubled again, as the relentless unstopping assault was met by fanatical defenders who refused to give up even a millimeter of ground without a fight.

By nightfall, the entire city was ablaze from the northernmost spur of land to the docks on the southern end facing out to sea. Now in its second consecutive day, the battle dissolved in certain sectors to hand-to-hand combat amongst the ‘Mechs, with broken and battered Atlases and Dragons pummeling and being pummeled by the Jaguars and Cats.

Their troops utterly worn out by the constant fighting, Khans West and Howell pulled back, away from the current lines and gave their Warriors a small respite as Techs rushed to bolt on new armor plates and replace damaged weapons and empty magazines. Although Akira Kurita would have liked nothing more than to launch a counter-attack, his troops as well were drained of all energy, and he too took advantage of the lull to prepare for the following morn.

An hour before dawn, the assault resumed and it continued for the next nineteen hours before the sounds of the guns finally fell silent on the third day of the battle. Every soldier assigned to the defense of the Cauldron lay dead—fifteen thousand in all, including the pilots lost in the sky and in space. The city itself was in ruins, filled with shattered and scorched buildings, without power or water, with fires raging out of control.

The Jaguars and Nova Cats stood victorious—but the cost was staggering. Storied Clusters, such as the 7th Jaguar Dragoons, the 362nd Assault Cluster, the 225th Battle Cluster, the 1st Jaguar Cavaliers, the 4th Jaguar Dragoons, and the 19th Striker Cluster had to be disbanded; their troops divided amongst the shattered remains of Alpha and Beta Galaxy (Delta being temporarily stricken from the Jaguar rolls). Even with the these Clusters being broken up, no unit in Alpha or Beta reported in at more than sixty percent of authorized strength. The Jaguars had lost half their total strength in the Inner Sphere in this one fight, although his Techs promised the Khan that they could restore one hundred—perhaps even two hundred—of the OmniMechs lost in the fighting; once they were recovered from the battlefield that is. Manning them would be another matter completely.

The Cats did not suffer quite so much, but then they avoided the earliest and some of the bloodiest hours of the fighting. Still, of the five Clusters which they began, the 489th Assault Cluster and 7th Nova Cat Guards had to be disbanded—and if the remaining three could field one hundred OmniMechs between them, Khan West would have been surprised.

But Kendrick Wheeler and most (not all, but most) of his film crews had lived—and they caught the entire battle in living color on film.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:31 am 
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Sounds like some of the fighting in Europe during WW2 or in Vietnam in regards to city fighting...

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
November 20, 3043


“Khan Djerassi, you want us to leave our conquests undefended, before we get any of our reinforcements from the homeworlds, and engage Wolf’s Grand Army in a battle that you admit we might not win? Tell me how I am to sell that to the other Khans?” Yvonne asked, throwing her hands up in the air.

“Never mind,” she continued before Nikolai could say a word, “that carrying out this attack will derail the invasion schedule completely—and force us to declare a halt for the next six months . . . at a minimum! If we win.”

Nikolai waited to be certain the ilKhan had finished her rant and he sat down the tall goblet of golden pilsner on the side table. He looked into the eyes of his fellow Khans—Marion Truscott, Jake Fletcher, Amanda Tseng, Peter McKenna, Pavel Kerensky, Olivia Sutherland, Mark Steiner, Ulric Kerensky, and their saKhans—then he nodded.

“And if we do not launch a preemptive strike against the Grand Army, while we have the chance to do so . . . what will that mean, ilKhan Hazen? Jaime Wolf has between thirty-five and one hundred regiments of BattleMechs at his disposal; depending on which source of information you trust. No offense, saKhan Kerensky,” he said the Black Widow, who sat beside Ulric. He had protested against her being present, but the ilKhan had overruled him.

“None taken, Khan Djerassi,” Natasha answered.

“If we do nothing, then Wolf will roll out those forces and hit us with a sledgehammer we are ill-prepared to stop: ten thousand BattleMechs, fifteen thousand tanks and armored combat vehicles, more than two thousand aerospace fighters, and more than a quarter of a million infantry! Not to mention between six and fifty WarShips! Those numbers are on the high side of our estimates of what he has—I believe he has somewhere around half. If he can choose when and where to use that power, my Khans, then we are [screwed].”

The Khans—except for Natasha—winced at the deliberate use of such crude lower-caste profanity by the Scorpion, but Yvonne slowly nodded. Nikolai met her gaze and he too nodded. “If Wolf attacks in force, no single Clan here in the Inner Sphere can stop him. We will lose the fighting touman of three, perhaps four, or even five Clans before we can even slow him. And he is not the only threat; we have destroyed more than one hundred regiments of Inner Sphere troops—luckily for them, they only have five times as many more to throw against us!”

Marion and Jake winced, most of the others stirred in their seats, but Amanda, Natasha, and Ulric allowed no expression to reach their faces. “We can no longer lie to ourselves; the Clans of Kerensky simply do not have the manpower from our thirty-three inhabited star systems back in the Pentagon and the Tanite Worlds and the Homeworlds, to successfully take and garrison 2,000 worlds in the Inner Sphere! We literally cannot do so.”

Yvonne sat back, her face drained of all color. “And we have failed in our purpose then; Revival has failed.”

“Perhaps not, ilKhan,” Nikolai answered with a sly grin.

Every Khan and saKhan present leaned forward, wanting to hear his answer.

“Revival had to be attempted—if only because the most devoted and fanatical Crusader Clans would consider nothing else. But, if we can carry out a spoiling attack against Wolf’s Grand Army on Tukayyid—if we can eliminate that threat hanging our us, then perhaps we can present the Inner Sphere with terms of a truce. A truce that will allow us to consolidate, recover, and—most importantly—give us the time to bring men and equipment and defenses forward. We will have secured a beachhead in the Inner Sphere, and given enough time for us to fortify it properly, nothing the Inner Sphere does can dislodge us.”

Nikolai lifted his goblet and took another sip of the rich frothy golden liquid and he smacked his lips. “And once we have recovered our strength, replaced our casualties, and made certain our enclaves here are secure, we can still move on our final target—Terra.”

“With no supply lines, with our flanks open to attack from all sides?” asked Ulric. “We disregarded this idea long ago; it is too risky.”

“Khan Kerensky—we do not have the strength of arms, not in numbers at least, to drive all the way to Terra and hold every world we take in our wake. Not even if we brought every last Warrior and Sibkin in the Homeworlds forward. And every day we delay, we let our enemies grow stronger.” Nikolai paused and he turned his attention back to Natasha. “I am correct in that, saKhan Kerensky, quiaff?”

“Aff,” she said. “Star League equipment was just starting to reach units destined for your Wave IV worlds when I left,” she grinned. “The Grand Army already has it. And light powered armor for Jaime’s infantry troopers—not in any great numbers yet, but you know how many suits of Elemental armor you can produce in a short time. Do not doubt that capabilities of the Inner Sphere’s factories in a crisis.”

“Win or lose, we must throw the die, ilKhan Hazen, my Khans,” Nikolai continued. “We cannot afford to continue to take the losses that the Jaguars and Cats suffered on Pesht—or the Falcons on Deia. The Ravens on Parakoila. The Wolves and Coyotes on Tamar. We are being bled white, and while we remain combat effective, we will not for many more such Waves—and that is when Jaime Wolf will come crashing down upon us like a tsunami.”

Nikolai lifted his beer and took another sip; he didn’t say another word, but instead allowed each of the Khans present to consider what had been spoken.

One by one each Khan and saKhan nodded, until Yvonne stood. "Khan Djerassi; it is your plan. You are willing to accept the consequences that the Khans will demand if it fails?"

"I am, ilKhan Hazen."

“Very well. I will find a way to convince Timur Malthus—and then we will assemble a Strike Force such as the Clans have never before fielded. And we will obliterate this Grand Army of the Inner Sphere.”

“Seyla,” responded Nikolai and the other Khans . . . but out of the corner of his eye the Khan of the Goliath Scorpions noticed that Natasha’s eyes had never left him. And he shivered.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:37 pm 
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General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
November 22, 3043


“Tell me this is not happening,” groaned Nikolai as he read the dispatch from the ilKhan. “Can they not stop fighting among themselves for five minutes!” the Scorpion Khan snarled as he stood and hurled the datapad into the wall, where it shattered into a hundred pieces.

Star Captain Jason Scott shook his head and poured two fingers of whiskey into a tumbler for his Khan. “It has been confirmed, my Khan—all of it. The heavy casualties that the Mandrill Kindraas experienced in Wave III, combined with the uprisings on their Wave I and II worlds—and the absolute brutal manner in which they and the Spirits put down those uprisings—led Kindraa Leader Sainze to challenge Tanaga for the rank of Khan. Both Warriors died during the Trial.” Jason snorted as he handed the crystal tumbler to Nikolai, who took a sip of the smoky amber liquid. “saKhan Payne, on the other hand—who should have taken over in the interim—was apparently unable to accept the nearly complete loss of the 1st Battle Payne on Byesville. He received word that the Khan and Kindraa Leader Sainze were both dead, acknowledged it, passed on his orders for all the Kindraa to carry on, returned to his quarters, and blew his own brains with his sidearm.”

Nikolai took another slug, as Jason continued. “Loremaster Victoria Tanaga has refused to the assume the post of Khan; but she and three other surviving Kindraa leaders blocked Kindraa Leader Grant when he tried to claim the post—needless to say, the ilKhan is quite furious over the whole matter.”

“I bet she is,” Nikolai muttered. “Have they started actual combat amongst themselves yet?”

“So far, no—but Star Colonel Adriane Payne is withdrawing 1st Striker Payne and the eight survivors from the 1st Battle Payne back to Richmond. Kindraa Mick-Kreese reports they have thirteen Stars of Warriors that remain combat effective and has requested to be removed from Wave IV operations—Mattila-Carrol is not much better off. Beyl-Grant and Kline report at 60% and 70%, respectively, while Sainze and Faraday-Tanaga each claim to be able to field 80% of their full-strength order of battle for the Invasion.”

“And the Spirits?”

“They remain in relatively good condition, my Khan. Khan McFadden claims the Spirits eleven Clusters are able to field eighty-eight percent of his initial strength; he was able to make that claim only by using every single replacement Warrior he had in the Inner Sphere—and by abandoning his holdings on Fredotto and breaking up the 441st Crimson Guards to fill the holes in his rank and file.”

“The Mandrills already abandoned their enclave, did they not?” Nikolai shook his head again.

“They did and they integrated the 12th Support Cluster into Faraday-Tanaga’s line units; which leaves the Nova Cats alone on Fredotto with the 4th Nova Cat Regulars to defend those facilities—both the Spirits and Mandrills have also called forward their PGCs; I understand that Khan West is rather . . . perturbed by the sudden abandonment of the enclaves without any prior notice.”

“No doubt,” whispered Nikolai.

“Luckily,” Jason said with an ironic smile, “the ilKhan’s Grand Kurultai starts tomorrow—so every Khan and saKhan, except for the Mandrills, of course, will be here on Memmingen. She wants to meet with you tonight, however—1800 hours to be exact.”

“Inform her that I will be there,” Nikolai said in a sour tone, and then he frowned again. “What else has gone wrong, pray tell?”

“You have a guest, my Khan—saKhan Kerensky of Clan Wolf. She is waiting in the outer office.”

Nikolai stood and he downed the rest of the whiskey in a single swallow. “Send her in,” he commanded.

Jason bowed slightly and exited the office; Nikolai could hear his aide, “This way, saKhan.”

Natasha Kerensky walked in through the door, and Jason closed it softly behind her.

“To what do I owe this pleasure, saKhan Kerensky?” Khan Djerassi said.

“So formal and staid, Nikolai—not at all like I remember the Scorpions from my day,” she answered with a smile. And then pointed to the whiskey bottle. “For me?” she cooed.

“For me; the Mandrills are adding to my headaches.”

Natasha laughed and she took a tumbler and poured herself a glass, sipped the well-aged Scotch and she nodded appreciatively. “You keep the good stuff for yourself, I see; you do not look well at all, Nikolai—perhaps you need to find a pleasure girl and couple.”

The Scorpion walked around his desk and he poured a half-shot into his own glass and sat down, motioning towards another arm-chair for Natasha, who also sat and crossed her legs.

“Thank you for the concern, Natasha, if I may use your given name?”

“You may.”

“What brings you here on the eve of the Grand Kurultai?”

The Black Widow leaned forward. “I want to know what you problem with me is.”

Nikolai barked out a laugh. “Simple enough to rectify—I do not trust you, Natasha. I have no idea what game you are playing, but you are playing us; that much I know.”

“So why not accuse me openly?”

“I have no evidence, only my . . . instinct. Had I evidence, you would be dead.”

Natasha laughed. “Oh, I have missed the Clans so much, Nikolai. I could challenge you to a Trial of Grievance for your accusations, quiaff?”

“Aff. And if we fought in OmniMechs, you would win, quiaff?”

“Aff. Which is why you would choose unaugmented, or perhaps unaugmented with melee weapons—quite possibly with your zulkari, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

“You would still lose,” she answered with a smile and took another sip of whiskey.

“Perhaps,” answered the Scorpion, “though that is by no means certain.”

Natasha nodded. “So you will not challenge me without evidence, and I cannot challenge you without risking life and limb in a knife fight—whatever will we do now?”

“What we must, Natasha Kerensky. That is all that anyone can ever do. Is that why you came here, to discover only why I dislike you so?”

“Oh, I have more questions for you—what are you playing at, Nikolai?”

Nikolai snorted. “Twenty questions, quiaff? I will answer the truth if you do the same—quid pro quo, Natasha Kerensky.”

“I had forgotten the Scorpion passion for ferreting out secrets; it is a refreshing change. I will agree to your terms—but I ask first.”

“Ask.”

“Why did you engineer this Invasion? You were the one behind it—it was your vote which authorized Operation Revival . . . so why?”

Nikolai took a sip of scotch. “Sometimes the best way to teach children that a hot object is not meant to held in one’s bare hands is let them get burnt—the Clans were going to invade. I took the opportunity to try and shape the invasion—to teach my fellow Khans that perhaps we cannot conquer the Inner Sphere in the manner which they have dreamed of for a hundred years.”

The Black Widow’s eyes went wide and she smiled. “You did this, knowing they would fail?”

Nikolai shook his head—and he smiled. “Nice try. My turn . . . where do your loyalties lie, Natasha Kerensky?”

“With myself. For my next ques-. . .”

“You have already asked it,” interrupted Nikolai. “I expected them to fail—though not so soon. Revival, in its original form, was fatally flawed, saKhan Kerensky. With just four—perhaps seven including reserve—Clans part of the Invasion, those who stayed would inevitably blame the Invaders for the loss. It would eventually bog down into a bloody stalemate; we do not have the numbers to successfully conquer the Great Houses—it is a mathematical fact. And the discord between the 'failed' Invaders and the Clans who remained behind would tear apart our society; this way no one can claim it would have been different if I was there.”

“Such depths, Scorpion. I am impressed. I understand from Ulric that you engineered the Annihilation of the Burrocks—as a training exercise.” She smiled again and took another sip. And then she sat back up straight and her eyes glistened. “You are a Warden, still, aren’t you?”

The Scorpion grinned. “No one has ever asked that of me—but yes. I remain a Warden and I believe that the Clans should not be here as conquerors, but as allies and as an example. Does Jaime Wolf really have one hundred BattleMech Regiments in his Grand Army?”

“Nope. I . . . exaggerated a little bit. Your estimate is closer to reality; you don’t expect to win there do you?”

“That depends on your definition of winning, does it not?”

“It does,” Natasha answered with a grin of her own. “You hope that Jaime smashes this force into bloody ruin—you want the Clans to suffer a defeat don’t you?”

“I want . . .,” Nikolai paused and he lifted his glass to take a small sip, “I want my Crusader brethren to become convinced that we do not have the strength to continue on—to admit we have bitten off more than we can chew. The same question to you.”

“Fair enough,” the Black Widow mused. “I would dislike seeing the Inner Sphere transformed into the Homeworlds—they are too boring, Nikolai. And you have no idea what you are walking into.”

“What am I walking into, Natasha?”

But the Black Widow stood and she shook her head. “I found out what I need to know; I think we will end this here—unless you plan to tell me how you see this ending?”

“I would not care for that, saKhan Kerensky.”

Natasha smiled. “In that case, Khan Djerassi, I bid you a good night.”

Nikolai walked her to the door. “I hope you discovered what you came for, Natasha—give Jaime my best when you speak with him. And tell him that I would . . . request the codex of all Scorpions that accompanied him to the Inner Sphere and failed to return—they should be honored for their actions, not condemned for what has happened after their deaths.”

The Black Widow burst out laughing. “Oh, I have found all that I sought and more, Scorpion. “


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Stratego

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2001 8:00 pm
Posts: 10855
Location: Ft. Hood Texas
The depth here for the characters are deeper and more believable then a large percentage of the canon works. Excellent job! The flaws and traits and actual HUMAN actions and interactions are working very well.

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Darkness is a friend of mine. Sometimes I have to beat it back, or it would overwhelm me. Shirley Meier

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:14 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
November 22, 3043


“The hell I will, ilKhan Hazen,” Nikolai growled when he heard Yvonne’s request. “The Mandrill’s and Spirits have sowed what they are now reaping in their rear area—I am not sticking my Clan into that meat-grinder in order to make their lives easier!”

“Damn it Nikolai!” Yvonne snapped. “You have got three Galaxies in the Inner Sphere now, all at or near full strength! The Mandrills are in shambles, and the Spirits simply do not have the numbers—you will transfer your Clan to Corridor Eta as the Primary Clan for that invasion zone!”

Nikolai shook his head and he stood. “I will demand a Trial of Refusal, ilKhan—and the Grand Kurultai will agree. Those idiots have created this crisis, and it is they who must deal with it—not my Scorpions.”

Amanda Tseng nodded. “I too will call for a Trial of Refusal, ilKhan; I do not want the remnants of the Mandrills in my Corridor, brutalizing civilians on planets that are now calm!”

“Between the two of you, you have eight Galaxies—eight! Plus two more on Rondane! You both put the Invasion at risk!”

“The Mandrills have put the Invasion at jeopardy, ilKhan Hazen,” said Marion Truscott quietly. “No, the Adders will not and cannot support you on this—we and our Cobra allies will stand with the Scorpions.”

Jake Fletcher snorted. “As will the Horses and Ravens—the spirits of Kerensky knows I would fight tooth and hoof if you tried to reassign those damn dirty apes to my Corridor.”

Even Ulric nodded his head. “The powers of the ilKhan are vast, Yvonne Hazen—but you cannot simply expect any Khan to agree to move his entire touman participating in this Invasion to clean up the mess that the Spirits and Mandrills have made for themselves.”

Nikolai took a deep breath and he sat back down. “To be fair, the Spirits are not the problem here; they have been far harsher on their civilians than I—or many of you—would have been, but they didn’t put down this uprising in the same callous brutal manner that the Mandrills did. And the Spirits are still mostly intact—with a third Galaxy due to arrive in just two weeks time.”

Yvonne sullenly nodded and she sat back down. “Fine,” she snapped. “I will move the Mandrills to the reserve and establish the Spirits as the Primary Clan in Invasion Corridor Eta. Since I cannot convince you of the need to move a full Clan there to take over the tasks that Mandrills seem to incompetent to accomplish,” Yvonne grinned evilly, “I am invoking my right as the ilKhan to demand one Cluster of troops from each of the remaining Clans to support combat operations which the ilKhan leads.”

Everyone in the room jerked. Nikolai blinked, and then he smiled. “You are taking command of Eta yourself, quiaff?” he asked.

“Aff. Khan Fletcher, I will have your 11th Mechanized Cavalry Cluster; Khan McKenna you will contribute your 14th Raven Battle Cluster. Khan Kerensky, since saKhan Kerensky has assumed command of your Beta Galaxy, I will require the 13th Wolf Guards; the Coyotes will add their 34th Strike Cluster. Khan Tseng, you will surrender your 20th Battle Cluster, while the Scorpions will hand me control of their 28th Cuirassier. Khan Truscott, the Adders will provide me with your 69th Dragoons, while the Cobras will give up command of the 45th Grenadiers.”

She continued, “The Vipers will supply us with the 57th Striker Cluster, the Hellions with the 40th Lancers. From the Sharks we will call forth the 8th Assault Cluster, and the Falcons will add to this their own 3rd Battle Cluster. The Spirits will release their 79th Blood Hussars to my command. In light of their casualties to date, I am not demanding troops from the Nova Cats or the Smoke Jaguars—and I will not be incorporating the Mandrills who caused this chaos in my command. Combined with the Ebon Keshik, this will give me a total strength of fourteen Clusters—which should be enough to restore order to Eta. Unless any of you would care to challenge this order to a Trial of Refusal?”

Nikolai nodded. Well played, Yvonne, he thought. You knew we would never agree on being transferred to clean up behind the Mandrills—and you used our vehemence against your proposal to come up with another solution. “I will cut orders for the 28th Cuirassier upon returning to my HQ.”

The other Khans slowly nodded their agreements as well. But then Nikolai cocked his head to one side. “So what are you going to do with the Mandrill problem? I mean, you cannot just simply shoot them all.”

“No, I cannot. I am going to do what should have done a long time ago—kick some sense into the asses that lead their feuding Kindraas. And to do that, I will need each of you to support me tomorrow.”

“You have not said what you intend to do, ilKhan,” mused Marion.

“No, I have not,” answered Yvonne, as chuckles went around the room. “But I expect your support regardless.”

“What about the Tukayyid operation?” asked Nikolai.

“That too we will discuss on the morrow, in the Grand Kurultai. I expect these Clusters to be underway no later than tomorrow evening my Khans—and I will have your votes for my solution to the Mandrills, quiaff?”

“Aff,” a chorus of voices answered.


Last edited by master arminas on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:27 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
November 23, 3043


The whispers of conversation came to a close as ilKhan Yvonne Hazen entered the chamber—her face somber and grim, and upon seeing that face the Loremaster of the Fire Mandrills shuddered. Victoria Tanaga sat alone and none of the Khans and saKhans who surrounded here had offered her any sympathy or empathy; even her Clans closest allies the Blood Spirits had simply warned her to walk carefully in her answers.

The former Falcon stopped directly in front of Victoria and she glared down at her, but Victoria made herself face the old Warrior stoically, refusing to show the Khans any weakness. Finally, Yvonne nodded and she spread her gaze other the remainder of the ranking Clan Warriors assembled on Memmingen.

“My Khans, you all know of the actions taken by the Fire Mandrills in this past week. You all know of how their internal bickering has now cost us the single most valuable resource we possess—TIME! The Mandrills endanger the Invasion by their failure to work together as a Clan, and as ilKhan I shall no longer tolerate it!” she thundered.

“You, girl—you speak for the Clan Fire Mandrill today, quiaff?”

Victoria stood. “Neg; I am no Khan—I speak for the Warriors of Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga and Kline.”

Muttered whispers raced through the room, and the Mandrill Loremaster could see many Khans shaking their heads.

“Victoria Tanaga, you are a Warrior of your Clan, Bloodnamed and Loremaster! You have obligations to your Clan, not merely to your ‘Kindraa’; yet, you will not speak for them?”

“My Kindraa and Kindraa Kline have done nothing wrong—we have not violated the martial code of Kerensky, we have worked together to ensure success, we have not failed!”

Yvonne shook her head sadly, and she recognized Nikolai. “Khan Djerassi?”

“My Khans, to paraphrase an ancient leader of Terra from centuries before our founders first managed to acheive spaceflight . . . a Clan divided against itself cannot stand. Loremaster, do you even see what the Mandrill disunity has wrought? A Khan killed in a Trial during combat operations—his challenger dead by his hand. A saKhan who takes his own life; individual commanders violating orders and withdrawing without permission or instruction—your Clan is on the verge of total and complete collapse into anarchy. With no one willing or able to assume a position of leadership.”

“Not all of us! Faraday-Tanaga and Kline remain strong!”

“Loremaster, you are weak and your Clan is weak!”

“My Kindraa is at 100% of the our pre-Invasion strength—as is that of Kline!” Victoria snapped, and then she paled at what she had just blurted out. But the Scorpion only smiled, somehow, probably through his Watch spies, he had already known.

Nicolai nodded. “Yet this very report that you—you, Victoria Tanaga—prepared for the ilKhan states within it that Faraday-Tanaga is at 80% and Kline is at 70%. A deliberate lie, quiaff?”

“A deception against our opponents.”

Our opponents, Loremaster Tanaga? Or your Mandrill competitors?” Nikolai shook his head. “My Khans, we may keep secrets, but here in this Grand Kurultai we do not lie to ourselves and each other; we do not seek to deceive our trothkin; we do not falsify official reports presented to the ilKhan and claim them as the Truth!”

The Khans nodded their agreement and Victoria shivered as she could feel their eyes between her shoulder blades—and she wondered where the knife would come from.

The Scorpion shook his head. “Were we not engaged in the Return that Nicholas and Aleksandyr Kerensky promised to his children, I would call for the immediate Annihilation of the Mandrills for being unworthy of calling themselves one of our Clans. Were we not in the midst of the fulfillment of all generations before us back to the Founders, I would call for the Absorption of the Mandrills industry and civilian castes amongst our own. Were we not already conducting military operations against the Inner Sphere to restore the Star League in all of its Glory, Loremaster I would demand a Trial of Grievance against you and leave you dead!” he shouted as he slammed down one open palm on his desk.

“But we are engaged in Operation Revival,” Nikolai continued in a quieter voice. “We are here, under military discipline—and we cannot afford to lose your remaining Warriors, as pitiful and honorless as they might have become!”

Yvonne stood and she nodded at Nikolai who sat at her unspoken command. “I, as ilKhan, have assembled a force which shall replace Clan Fire Mandrill in Corridor Eta—all of Clan Fire Mandrill. I should not have to do this, but you, Victoria Tanaga, you and your fellow Mandrills have forced my hand. Loremaster Tanaga, I am removing Clan Fire Mandrill from this Invasion—the remnants of your touman are to proceed immediately to Memmingen and await further instructions. That is understood, quiaff?”

“We earned the right for a Corridor of our own!”

“You forfeited that right by proving yourselves weak and unable to work in concert towards a common goal and purpose!” Yvonne snapped. “Acknowledge my order!”

For several moments, Victoria didn’t move, she didn’t say a word, but at last, her shoulders slumped and she whispered, “Aff.”

“AGAIN!”

“Aff!” the furious Loremaster snapped.

Yvonne nodded. “Before your arrival, I met with the Khans—there we voted thirty-one to none opposed to create a new Clan: Clan Stone Lion. To Clan Stone Lion, I hereby consign all of the Fire Mandrill civilian castes and their enclaves. Does a Khan object to this?”

“YOU CANNOT DO THIS!” erupted Victoria Tanaga.

“Silence, Loremaster—you chose not to be Khan. Do any Khans object to this?”

Silence hung over the room.

“Then without objection, I so order it. I have dispatched orders to the Katyusha Keshik, in conjunction with forces from Clans Blood Spirit, Cloud Cobra, Coyote, Diamond Shark, Ghost Bear, Goliath Scorpion, Hell’s Horses, Ice Hellion, Jade Falcon, Nova Cat, Smoke Jaguar, Snow Raven, Star Adder, Steel Viper, and Wolf—every single extant Clan of Kerensky—to remove from Mandrill possession your sibkos and to transport them, regardless of age, to Strana Mechty. There, they will be trained as Warriors by instructors from all of the Clans—trained as Stone Lions. Those who refuse to accept the new reality and function without regard for your prior Kindraa structure because of Mandrill indoctrination will be terminated.”

“Any Warrior of Clan Fire Mandrill who does not possess a Blood-name is free to join Clan Stone Lion—provided that their new Khan accepts them and they reject the Kindraas publicly and forever. Will the Khan of Clan Stone Lion please rise?”

Natasha Kerensky stood, and Yvonne smiled. “Khan Kerensky has agreed to serve me as the first Khan of Clan Stone Lion—she will ensure that your Warriors are fit for service amongst the Clans. Any free-birth Warrior of any Clan who wishes to request a transfer to Clan Stone Lion is hereby free to do so; provided that Khan Kerensky accepts them.”

“And you plan to Annihilate our Blood-named then?” asked Victoria Tanaga. “To destroy us and our Kindraa? Our heritage?”

The ilKhan shook her head. “You Mandrills have already destroyed your Clan—I am attempting to preserve the best parts of it. To unite you. I shall not permit your petty inconsequential internal squabbling to threaten the Clans of Kerensky any longer. Any Blood-named Mandrill Warrior who refuses to obey this command; those Warriors will be annihilated—and their legacies Reaved from future generations of Stone Lion Warriors.”

Victoria’s staggered and she nearly fell, but she managed to remain standing despite her shock.

“However,” the ilKhan continued. “Those Mandrills who possess a Blood-name, and who are willing to prove their devotion to the Way of the Clans will receive the opportunity to do so. They will be formed up here on Memmingen into a single unit—and these Warriors will spearhead our assault on Tukayyid. They will be given the opportunity to redeem their legacies and their honor by their actions, and if successful in doing so their Bloodnames and legacies will continue on as part of Clan Stone Lion.”

“This applies only to the Bloodnamed Mandrills present in the Inner Sphere—those who remain in the Homeworlds will surrender themselves and be stricken of their Bloodnames. Refusal will be met with lethal force—for those Warriors and their legacies. Those who are willing may become Stone Lions, should Khan Kerensky approve of them—those who cannot forsake the divisiveness of the Mandrill past will be consigned to Solahma units for use in future assaults. Those who refuse either option will be Annihilated and Reaved.”

Yvonne walked over to Victoria Tanaga and she slowly shook her head. “You will unite as a Clan, or you will die. Not as an association of Kindraa, but as a true Clan of Kerensky. Are you woman enough, and honorable enough, to lead your Mandrills into the Fire to cleanse your Clan of the stain of your past—and emerge as a Stone Lion? Or should I just kill you now?”

“The choice is yours, Victoria Tanaga. Make it.”


Last edited by master arminas on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Major General
Major General

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Location: Hope Mills, NC
BRAVO

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:42 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Field Headquarters of the ilKhan; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
November 23, 3043


“I can lead our Kindraa to victory, ilKhan! Let me prove to you our worth!” Victoria protested as the Khans were filing out of the room.

Yvonne sighed and she shook her head and turned back towards the Warrior who still had a stunned look on her face. “You really do not understand do you?”

“Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga and Kindraa Kline are loyal—let me prove that to you,” Victoria pleaded.

“Victoria,” Yvonne said softly, “the Kindraa no longer exist . . . and you had three chances to prove that you would put your Clan—not your Kindraa, girl, your Clan—first. You could not bring yourself to do that. If you want to prove yourself worthy, then you will lead all of the Mandrill Bloodnamed here in Inner Sphere against Tukayyid; but there will no longer be a Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga, nor will there be a Clan Fire Mandrill. I am ending this charade for good.”

“Sainze and Payne and Beyl-Grant will fight you . . .”

“And they will die if they do so—their genetic legacies will be Reaved. If you want to preserve any part of your heritage, Loremaster, show me that you can lead all of the Mandrill Bloodnamed on Tukayyid.”

“I demand a Trial of Refusal!”

Yvonne jumped over the desk and slammed both boots into the chest of the Mandrill Loremaster, knocking her to the floor; several Khans stopped and turned back to watch with interest—the guards of the Ebon Keshik did not move. Stunned by the sudden blow, her air forced from lungs, Victoria collapsed onto the floor, Yvonne rolling atop of her. The ilKhan drew back her fist and slammed it repeatedly into the face of the younger woman. At last, Yvonne stopped panting with the exertion, and she climbed to her feet, her gloved hand covered with blood.

“Granted,” she whispered, “and you have lost.” But Victoria Tanaga did not answer her, as she was unconscious on the floor. “Guards, remove this surat from my sight—and see to it that her injuries are treated. She needs to be healthy when she drops onto Tukayyid.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
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"She needs to be healthy when she drops onto Tukayyid."
where is that? :wink: i guess about 27 jumps from Tukyavid? at least i believe it was spelled like that in canon, or does my memory betray me?(its been a long time)

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:43 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Interlude
November 23-December 24, 3043


There were some Mandrills, of course, refused to accept the ilKhan’s decision . . . and thus it was fighting broke out throughout their Invasion Corridor. But many more, disillusioned by the ferocity of their opponents, their leader’s callous disregard for the future of the Clan, the shame of having arrived at such a nadir of their strength and ability; these Mandrill Warriors fought against their own Kindraa leaders and the Bloodnamed who led them—for the rank and file realized that they had the opportunity to rise with the passing of the old guard.

On Richmond, the survivors of Kindraa Payne, under the command of Star Colonel Adriane Payne surrendered to the ilKhan’s forces without a fight when her own Warriors refused to accept her orders to fight.

On Courchevel, Star Admiral Jonathon Kreese stood down the Mandrill Fleet—his Elemental Marines boarding the destroyer Rancor and killing her commander when that officer refused his order.

Kindraa Beyl-Grant, their forces sorely understrength also abided by the will of the ilKhan—but on Labrea, Kindraa Sainze rallied to its leader and refused the recall. Until the ilKhan obliterated the 3rd Sainze Honor Guard (with Kindraa Leader Sainze in command) with orbital fire from the battleship Victory, that is. The remaining two Clusters of Kindraa Sainze quickly offered their surrender.

That action convinced most of the Mandrills to accept their fate, but Mick-Kreese, with less than a Cluster of Warriors between them tried to flee back to the Homeworlds in order to rally support for fight the ruling, but after their DropShips were engaged by Blood Spirit WarShips, they scattered and fled—their names stricken from the Clan rolls and they were now considered bandits.

Mattila-Carrol took a different approach—they slaughtered their Bloodnamed Leaders and presented their corpses to the ilKhan as a show of fealty before departing for Memmingen without a protest voiced.

Which left only Kindraas of Faraday-Tanaga and Kline. Sharply divided and bitter about the ilKhan’s decision—and her rejection of Loremaster Victoria Tanaga’s offer to voluntarily join the Stone Lions if her Kindraa could be kept intact—Faraday-Tanaga nonetheless recognized the futility of resisting any further, and had no desire to follow in the footsteps of Kindraa Sainze. They laid down their weapons and handed over their Bloodnamed, then reported in despair to Natasha Kerensky. Kline, on the other hand, refused to obey and they faced off against the Ebon Keshik and four Clusters on Nykvam; at the end of the day, only forty-four former Mandrills from Kindraa Kline survived the fighting. All of them were cast out of the Warrior caste and reassigned as laborers on the Periphery world of Santander V as the property of Clan Smoke Jaguar.

Still, enough Warriors remained, when combined with the free-birth combed from the other Clans for Natasha Kerensky to forge a single over-strength Galaxy of six Clusters, supported by the cruiser and two destroyers of her Clan’s new Fleet—and there were sufficient Mandrill Bloodnamed to fill out one more Cluster destined to lead the assault on Tukayyid.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Here is the OB of Clan Stone Lion (in the Inner Sphere) as of December 3043. All Clusters are technically rated at Veteran, because of the experience of the troops assigned to them and Natasha’s harsh and intense training regime on Memmingen, but they have not yet seen combat as a team.

Clan Stone Lion

Alpha Galaxy (Rock from Fire)
1st Lion Assault Cluster (The Widow’s Pride) (Veteran)
1st Lion Battle Cluster (Hell’s Own)
2nd Lion Battle Cluster (Strength of Stone)
3rd Lion Battle Cluster (The Roaring Lions)
The Lion Dragoons (First Team)
1st Lion Striker Cluster (The Stone Lion Hussars)

Clan Stone Lion Naval Star
Sovetskii Soyuz-class CA (Reaver—flagship)
Lola III-class DD (Anathema; Rancor)


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:33 pm 
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So, do the remnants that were back in the Kerensky cluster accept their new patch and leadership, or does the destruction move in that direction?


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:48 pm 
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Memmingen University; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
December 24, 3043


Natasha Kerensky waited until the final non-Bloodnamed Warriors of what had once been Clan Fire Mandrill were ushered into the auditorium she had ‘requisitioned’ from Memmingen University. She stood alone on a dais, wearing the field gray uniform she had chosen for her new Clan. She smiled at that thought. Her new Clan. As Khan, even of such a small and currently not combat-ready formation, she had access to far more information on the Clan’s overall tactical and strategic planning than she had as saKhan of the Wolves—far more. That, combined with the ability to shape this Clan from its beginning was what had led her to accept the ilKhan’s offer.

The former Mandrills—sullen and silent—joined a mass throng of free-births which the other Clans had provided. Some truly were volunteers—others like the former Falcon Warrior Tyle (who preferred to be known as Horse)—had been ‘volunteered’ by their superior officers and Khans.

Natasha smiled. She had built more with worse at least a time or two before. The doors closed and the infantry troopers from the Scorpion PGC she had ‘borrowed’ from Khan Djerassi filed into the mezzanine that ringed the upper row of seats in the stadium-style auditorium, as well as the balcony above.

“I am Natasha Kerensky,” she said as she stepped forward. “You may address me as Khan, or God—I don’t care which. I am the woman that the ilKhan has charged with forming a combat unit from you, and that task we shall accomplish in short order. Clan Stone Lion will not be like the other Clans—we will fight and work and live together as a team, both true-born and free-birth! We will coordinate actions between ‘Mechs, aerospace forces, infantry, and combat vehicles better than than any other formation in existence! We will earn the respect of each and every other Clan of Kerensky and our opponents in the Inner Sphere! That is what we will do—that is what I will lead you to do.”

“We will born in the fire of combat, and that fire will forge a weapon such as these Clans have never before seen! For the moment, I have assigned each of you to sub-units based upon your prior experience—you will note that there are no commanding officers assigned. Those of you who prove your worth to me will be promoted—those who do not had best get better quickly! Unless you enjoy the sensation of my boot up your ass!”

“If any of you feel that you cannot operate in this environment, speak up now—I have no qualms about consigning you to the laborer caste to unload and load cargo ships at the spaceport from dawn to dusk.”

One Warrior in the audience raised his hand, and Natasha’s smile broadened. “You wish to become a laborer?”

“Neg. I am a Warrior, Khan Kerensky. But I will not serve alongside free-birth scum—I am true born and my worth is above ten of theirs!”

Natasha nodded her head. “Well, then. I shall make arrangements so that you do not serve alongside free-birth.” She nodded at one of the Scorpion infantry, who raised his rifle and fired a single round through the skull of the Warrior below.

“LISTEN UP YOU APES!” Natasha bellowed, as Warriors recoiled from the crack of the rifle and the splash of blood as the corpse of the decapitated Mandrill fell to the ground, his feet still twitching. “I have served for more than forty years alongside free-births who were better and more able than almost any true-born you would care to name! The Stone Lions will not have this artificial divide between us—if a true-born is superior based on ability, than he will be promoted; if it is a free-birth who shows himself as a leader and a Warrior, then he will lead. Your status of birth means NOTHING to me! It is your competence and your performance which means EVERYTHING!”

“Tonight, I would advise each and every one of you to get as much sleep as you can—because tomorrow, we will start training. And that training will not end until either you die in your sleep of old age, you are killed in combat, I kill your sorry ass, or you save me the trouble and slit your own throat! We will be better than any other Clan! We will be stronger than any other Clan! And we will be united as one Clan!”

“WHO ARE WE?” she shouted.

“Stone Lions!” the Scorpion infantry called out.

“Not good enough, people! WHO ARE WE?”

“Stone Lions!” a weak response echoed throughout the hall.

“AGAIN! WHO ARE WE?”

"STONE LIONS!" The warriors yelled in response.

"AGAIN! WHO ARE WE?

“STONE LIONS!” they finally roared, and Natasha nodded. “Say goodbye to what you formerly called your lives in other Clans, Warriors. For starting tonight, the Stone Lions will begin to roar. And ALL in this universe will tremble in terror at the sound!”

“Training starts at 0330 hours—it is now 1742. Chow will be served in the University cafeteria until 1900 and lights out is at 2000 hours. Get some food and get some rest, because Warriors you will need both in the days to come. Dismissed.”


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:50 pm 
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General
General

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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Quote:
So, do the remnants that were back in the Kerensky cluster accept their new patch and leadership, or does the destruction move in that direction?
We will have to see. But the Mandrills don't have very much at ALL left in the Homeworlds. Faraday-Tanaga and Kline stripped their remaining Clusters in order to provide reserves of replacement Warriors for the forward units; many other did the same but not to the extent of those two. I'd be surprised if the Mandrills have more than sixteen Clusters of troops (PGCs included) left in the Homeworlds right now. And no WarShips . . . those are in the Inner Sphere.

MA


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:27 pm 
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Stratego
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Location: Ft. Hood Texas
This just keeps getting better and better!

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:22 am 
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Major General
Major General

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2001 8:00 pm
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Location: Hope Mills, NC
I agree Karagin

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Trueborn Warrior

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:20 am 
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Supreme Mugwump
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
i think khan kerensky has finally found an age-apropriate task(from a clan point of view).
leading a sibco.the mother of all sibcos.
only that she has the oportunity to form her sibkins into an army she has the privilege to lead.
and that they are beyond learning the basics.


i think a khan with decades of experience in the inner spheres can do marvells.
to overcome the divide between trueborn and freeborn warriors, to truly form a meritocracy where the best, artificially or naturally bred, can get to a post he deserves by talent conduct and merrit, without abandoning the results of the artificially breeding, is a way to form something really superior.
the point here is that the geneticists, as well as their "products", have to compete with nature. no "we trueborns are better" without a test. soon geneticists will see what is really good in trueborn warriors, and what is not. IF there is an advantage for trueborns. that will possibly accelerate the genetic development a lot. then there is talent in freeborn warriors that could be used for creating better trueborn warriors. the classification for a gene will not be "trueborn" or "freeborn" plus the bloodname anymore, but only more or less usefull for creating trueborns, based on merrit alone.

then zellbriggen is to be put to where it belongs: it is one honorfull way of fighting, not the only one. honor can not depend on one set of rules alone, but instead on playing by the rules that apply in each and every case. and it is most honorfull to set the rules before the fight, and in some cases it can spare a lot of suffering when a planet changes hand after a game of beach volleyball instead of a battle.

then a little idea for a scene: the spherer defence of a planet has set up an intricate arrangement of vibrabombs, that cannot be easyly defused by useing heavy mechs to detonate the "lighter"VBs. there is either not enough sappers, or not enough time to defuse them by hand. one(freeborn) mechwarrior and his star volunteer to clean the mines with their mechs.
when the battle comes they march towards the minefield and, 30 meters before the minefield they start to linedance with their mechs, synchronizing the movements of their mechs trampling and hopping so the combined shockwaves detonate the mines in the first line... once that is done a few 100-ton mechs can storm forward detonating the rest of the minefield at a distance, so the assault can take place almost unhindered. my inspiration was N. Kerensky running in place in her test of position.

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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:00 pm 
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General
General

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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
December 25, 3043


“Khan Nikolai Djerassi, may I present Marshal Stephen Davion, commander of the 1st Federated Suns Armored Cavalry?” Jason Scott said after he ushered the prisoner into the office of Khan.

Nikolai stood and he smiled at the cousin of Hanse Davion warmly, gesturing towards a chair set beside the roaring fireplace. “I am honored, Marshal Davion; thank you for making a quick transit so that the two of us could have this meeting.”

“I had little enough choice in the matter,” replied Stephen. “I am, after all, your captive.”

Nikolai sat and he poured two glasses of whiskey, and he shook his head. “Guest is how I would term it, Marshal Davion . . . after all, I mean to release you today.”

The high-ranking officer jerked at the bald statement as Nikolai nodded his affirmation. “I am sending you to Melissa Steiner-Davion, Marshal Davion, to convey a message for me—unless you would rather stay as a Goliath Scorpion bondsman, that is?”

Stephen slowly shook his head and he sank down in the empty sofa chair and lifted the tumbler of whiskey, taking a long pull. “What sort of message are you sending? Khan Djerassi,” he quickly added seeing Jason’s frown from where the armed Scorpion stood beside the door.

“A message that she will be grateful to receive—one in which I will provide her with the means of ending this War.”

Ending this war?” Stephen repeated. “If you plan on having me present her with your terms, you might as well not send me—they will not be received . . . and soon enough we will throw you off of our worlds.”

The Scorpion smiled. “You might . . . you also might not. And even if you are able to do so, then the killing will go on and on and on. More proud Regiments such as your own Armored Cavalry will be will destroyed; more sons and daughters of the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns and Draconis Combine will give their lives in a gallant effort to stem the tide of losses you have suffered at our hands—but neither your victory, nor ours, is certain.”

Nikolai lifted his own tumbler and took a sip, then he sat the glass down once again. “Do you know why we invaded you, Marshal Davion?”

“You intend to conquer the Inner Sphere, to punish us for what you think our ancestors did to General Kerensky and the soldiers of the SLDF.”

“You are partially correct, but not entirely, Marshal Davion. Did Wolf inform you of the divide between the Crusaders and the Wardens?”

Stephen’s eyes narrowed and he slowly shook his head. “No . . . and I begin to suspect there are many things about the Clans which he did not tell us ahead of time.”

The Khan nodded his agreement. “You cannot fault Supreme Commander Wolf, Marshal Davion—after all, he views the Clans through his own prism of experience. He is a free-birth, considered even in his very liberal Clan Wolf as a second-rate warrior fit only for deeds not worth a true-born. He carries his own prejudices and bigotries within him, although he is more than capable of setting them aside in pursuit of victory—as are most of the Clan Warriors.”

“We have two factions in Clan society, Marshal Davion, the Crusaders and the Wardens. The Crusaders, who are in ascendancy at the moment, believe that Aleksandyr Kerensky promised the Clans that one day we would return to rule the Inner Sphere—to reestablish a Star League that unites all of humanity under its rule. To achieve this goal, much like Ian Cameron did when he established the First Star League, the Crusaders are willing to impose their views with military force. Only this time, Marshal Davion, it is the Great Houses who are playing the role of the Periphery States.”

Nikolai lifted his tumbler and took another sip. “The Wardens opposed this Invasion in philosophy, believing that we should instead return after humanity united and offer to the new Star League our honorable service in defense of the human race—against threats both foreign and domestic; a new Star League Defense Force, if you will whole-cut from the cloth of the ancient SLDF but with our own traditions and honorable leanings.”

“And yet you all invaded,” said Stephen flatly.

“Of course,” agreed Nikolai. “The debate was won by the Crusaders and the Invasion would take place—given the choice between sitting in the Homeworlds and doing nothing, or taking part, the Wardens chose to participate. And yet, we remain Wardens.”

He took another sip of whiskey, and Stephen raised his own glass to his lips. “The key here is the Star League. If the Inner Sphere were to formally unite and form a Second Star League—on its own, without having it imposed upon them by the Crusaders—that action, combined with a defeat of our forces by the Inner Sphere would cause many nominally Crusader Clans to change to the Warden philosophy. A Star League that opened its arms to accept the Clans and offered them a place at the table here in the Inner Sphere would end all justification for the Invasion.”

Stephen shook his head. “So you just want Archon Melissa and Prince Hanse to reform the Star League—and then invite you invaders to join? And that alone would end the fighting?” His expression showed that he believed Nikolai was utterly made.

“Our plan is not quite that simple, but at its core, yes. It must be accompanied by a defeat—not a pyrrhic victory, but an absolute unquestioned defeat of the Clans by the Inner Sphere—to show the Crusaders that we underestimated the ability and courage and honor and unity of the Inner Sphere.” Nikolai shrugged. “It may well not work, but if it does we can end this Invasion on honorable terms for all involved.”

“Why would we even consider such? So far, your Clans have only fought our forces involved in holding actions, to delay and wound you—soon enough you will be stopped and then our counter-offensive will come.”

“From Wolf’s Grand Army? From the force that Theodore and Takashi Kurita are assembling on Luthien? From the combined Regiments of the Federated Commonwealth that your cousin has stacked and ready to go once we stick in our heads just a little bit farther? Please, Marshal Davion, give me some credit. You will achieve local victories where you can manage a concentration of force—but the only way you are going to be able to transport such a massive number of troops is by gutting your own economies. Bear in mind, as well, that we have committed less than a third of the Clan’s available strength—and that the ilKhan has formed a new, seventeenth Clan in the midst of the Invasion, the Stone Lions. You might well know their Khan: Natasha Kerensky.”

Nikolai took another sip. “Your counter-offensive will meet with success in places and defeat elsewhere; it will not drive us from the Inner Sphere—in that you will fail. You might crush three, perhaps even four, Clans, or rather their forces present here at this time. But then you will run out of steam and with your economy crashing down around you, our reinforcements will arrive—including Warriors from those Clans you consider defeated. And this War will drag on for year after bloody year, with casualty counts growing ever larger.”

“And how long will it continue before agitation growing in your own nations reaches the boiling point? Duke Sandoval very nearly caused conflict between Hanse and Takashi very recently—Skye is racked by strikes and protests, many provinces of the Free Worlds League object to Thomas sending more troops, your own Capellan March is furious with Hanse for giving up their worlds to Candace Liao! And you have pirates on the edges of civilization making matters worse as your garrisons which once kept them at bay are being redeployed to fight us.”

“We cannot defeat you; we simply do not have the numbers to conquer and garrison the entire Inner Sphere. Neither can you defeat us, not without unlocking your nuclear arsenals, in which case we will release our own in response—and civilization in the Inner Sphere will die. I seek a third way in this War, a way that we—as the Clans of Kerensky—can acknowledge your valor and that your way of life can be preserved. And that, in time, both of us might learn from the other and our societies grow stronger, united under the banner of a new Star League.”

“You are insane,” whispered Stephen.

“Am I? Perhaps so. But that is a matter for another day—will you carry my message to Melissa?”

“I’ll carry your message, Khan Djerassi, but neither Thomas nor Takashi will accept Hanse Davion as First Lord.”

“Did I say that Hanse Davion would have to be First Lord, Marshal Davion?” Nikolai smiled. “You have already appointed Jaime Wolf as Supreme Commander of forces from all five of the Great Houses and ComStar—he is a child of the Clans, who now defends the Inner Sphere. And he stands apart from the feuds of your Great Houses—I would suggest that Melissa look to him, and to the victory he is soon to achieve; a victory which will cause his star to rise even more so in the eyes of your own people.”

Stephen Davion sat back in his chair, stunned by the quiet words; he lifted the glass and drained it and shook his head. “Even if she can convince Takashi and Hanse and Thomas and Candace and the Primus to agree to this, can you assure me that the Clans will stop?”

“No. I cannot promise anything, but this: if the Star League is reformed, than Clan Goliath Scorpion will serve it. Others might as well, the Nova Cats and perhaps a few others, but I will promise Melissa Steiner-Davion that if the Second Star League is formed, and if that plus the defeat which Jaime Wolf will hand to us in the very near future does not convince my trothkin of their fundamental error; then I shall lead my Scorpions into the service of the Star League Reformed—all of my Scorpions. That is to include those Scorpion Warriors, Scientists, Merchants, Technicians, and Laborers within the Homeworlds who are preparing to move to the Chainelaine Isles and Scorpion holdings in our Invasion Zone. Tell Melissa that if worse to comes, my Scorpions shall forsake the Clans in order to serve the Star League—in exchange for seven worlds which we can call our own: Asta, Atria, Dyev, Imbros III, Lambrecht, Moore, and Sabik. And in exchange, this new Star League can call upon seven Galaxies of Scorpion Warriors and twenty-three WarShips. A fair trade, would you not say, Marshal Davion, quiaff?”

Stephen sat down his empty glass and he stared at Nikolai. “They will call you a traitor.”

“And they will be correct, from their point of view. I do not think it come to that, provided that Jaime Wolf does not allow us to achieve a victory on Tukayyid, Marshal Davion. But all of this is for naught if Melissa cannot convince the other Lords of the Great Houses to reform the Star League—that is the key, Marshal Davion. Without that, my Scorpions will not follow my lead—they will shoot me down themselves. Without a new Star League, the future is bleak for both our peoples.”

Nikolai stood, and Stephen followed. “There is a JumpShip resting at a close proximity point, as well as a DropShip at the spaceport, Marshal Davion. The crew of both will follow your instructions—Melissa is scheduled to meet with Hanse and her children on Arcturus in a few weeks. You can deliver your message there.”

“And my men?”

“Those not claimed as bondsmen are already aboard the ship, Marshal Davion—I can do no more. Other than to wish you success.”

Nikolai held out his hand, and slowly Stephen Davion nodded. Then he grasped it and the two men shook.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:23 pm 
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Supreme Mugwump
Supreme Mugwump

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 3183
with jaime as the first lord, who would be supreme commander of the SLDF? N.K.?

_________________
typos and spelling-mistakes are property of the finder. english is not my mother-tongue.


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 Post subject: Re: Scorpio Ascendant
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:38 pm 
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General
General

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 1201
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Clan Goliath Scorpion Field Headquarters; Bayern
Memmingen, Clan Goliath Scorpion Occupation Zone
December 26, 3043


“Olivia, Peter,” Nikolai greeted his two guests. “Thank you for joining me on such a short notice.”

Peter McKenna nodded his head and he took a seat as his host poured him a drink. “We were already on Memmingen preparing our Clan’s forces to participate in Operation Thunderbolt—as you are well aware, Nikolai. What do you want?” he finished as he accepted the cocktail from the Scorpion.

Olivia Sutherland laughed. “So business like, Peter—I think you should have been decanted as a Diamond Shark! Thank you for your hospitality, Nikolai,” she said as she took the glass that the Khan offered her.

“You are most welcome, Oliver. To business then, since one of my guests wishes it. I would like to lease some ships from each of you: the Titanic, and Tsunami from the Sharks, and the Eden Rose, Snowflake, Treachery, and Wild Swan from your Ravens.”

The Snow Raven sputtered, almost losing a sip of his drink. “Six Potemkins? Six? Who are you planning on invading now?”

Nikolai smiled. “The worlds we have taken from the Inner Sphere are now ours—I am moving as much of my Clan as possible to here. I need those ships to transport another two million of my civilians—and all of my touman left in the Homeworlds, other than a Cluster to protect my enclave on Strana Mechty. I will also need a total of fifty of your lithium-fusion battery equipped Monoliths.”

Fifty?” squealed Olivia. Both the other Khans looked at Nikolai in shock. “Does Yvonne know of this?” the Shark finally asked.

“It is better to plead forgiveness than to seek permission,” answered Nikolai. “These worlds are now Scorpion—I intend to hold my Domain. To do that, I must bring forward all of my touman and the finest of my civilian castes.”

“Nikolai, you are speaking of a large commitment of our reserve ships for a year; the cost in resources will be high,” said Peter slowly. “I have twenty-two LFB Monoliths in reserve, but manning them . . .”

“Agreed. I know Olivia has at least thirty-eight—and I will provide the crews. I intend to transfer my Tokasha enclave to the Diamond Sharks and my enclave on Roche—including the production facilities beneath the Temple of the Nine Muses, which you will share with the Adders and Wolves—to the Snow Ravens. That should be sufficient compensation for you both, quiaff? Khan Truscott will be taking over my enclave on Marshall, and Khans Kerensky and Malthus will split my enclave on Dagda. I will retain only the enclave on Strana Mechty.”

Nikolai waited as the two Khans managed to accept that he was serious and he nodded. “Our future is now here, not in the Homeworlds. I plan on the Scorpions to thrive in our new home.”

“When will you need the ships?” asked Olivia.

“Immediately, if possible. As soon as you can make them available . . . I have a real-time HPG link set up to the Homeworlds waiting if you need to pass the orders.”

The two Khans exchanged a glance and then Peter nodded. “I think we can have those ships at Roche within a week, quiaff?”

“Aff,” replied Olivia. “Anything else you need, Nikolai?”

“No, I will be providing escorts and have sufficient DropShips on hand; the civilians are already assembled on Roche. My Galaxies will meet up with them at Dagda before starting the journey to Rondane.”

Finally, Peter McKenna nodded. “I wish you well, Nikolai, but Yvonne will be furious you did not consult with her. I will accept your bargain.”

“As will I—and I am not certain Yvonne will be as mad as she claims. Tricky Nikolai here will have seven full Galaxies here in the Inner Sphere and the Isles—seven. She might just be pleased enough with that to overlook his other sins.”

The Raven snorted. “She might—she might not. Still, if we are going to do this, we should pass the orders, quiaff?”

“Aff.”

Nikolai set down his drink and stood. “My communications center is this way,” he said with a gesture.


Clan Goliath Scorpion Headquarters; Temple of the Nine Muses
Roche, Clan Homeworlds
December 26, 3043


Loremaster Daniel Arbuthnot read the orders from his Khan one last time and then he nodded. He turned to the waiting officers and civilians. “We have received the GO order from Khan Djerassi—this facility will be handed over to the Ravens in one weeks time. Go, make your final preparations; there is no time to waste. The Scorpions are returning home.”

The officers and civilians scattered, all but Star Admiral Ziva Ben-Shimon. “We will burn our bridges behind us, Loremaster,” she whispered. “I hope that the Khan knows what he is doing. For he leaves no room for any error at all in his plan, not if we are to survive.”

“Aff,” Daniel whispered in reply. “He stipulated ROE Three—we are to commandrer the Raven and Shark ships once we clear the Pentagon along with all of the JumpShips at each stage of the incomplete command circuit, and we are to destroy the HPG relay links.”

“If it were done when 'tis done, then t'were well. It were done quickly,” she quoted.

The Loremaster nodded. “Then by all means, let us do it both well and quick, Star Admiral.”

“Seyla.”


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